Politicians were silent after the publication of the rreport from the Central Planning Bureau about young families who continue to cling to the traditional division of roles. As if our European Championship part-time work among mothers and the associated loss of income of 46 percent is not worth mentioning. However, the reverse is true. Sticking to the current division of roles is worrying, from an economic and socio-political perspective.
First of all, economic inequality between men and women increases the financial vulnerability of families. Dutch women work an average of 21 hours a week. On the basis of a full-time average income, it becomes difficult to support a family with that number of hours. This is also apparent from figures: 23 percent of working women are not economically independent. As a result, poverty lurks when the partner becomes unemployed. In European families where mothers do not work at all, the risk of poverty is on average twice as high as in families of two-income couples.
probability of poverty
The effect of the traditional division of roles on the poverty risk of families is further enhanced by the skewed gender distribution across the various labor sectors. This is apparent from research into job losses during the financial crisis. The sectors in which men are overrepresented, such as the financial sector and manufacturing, have suffered more than typical ‘women’s sectors’, such as health care and education. As a result, more men than women were fired. This put additional pressure on the economic resilience of families in which women worked part-time or not.
Also read: Traditional views hinder mothers’ incomes
Secondly, the lack of women’s emancipation leads to life-threatening situations in everyday life. Those who only want to work three days a week are less likely to obtain a senior or managerial position. As a result, women act as role models less often than men and there are fewer opportunities to bring up women-related topics in public administration and business. Subjects that are regarded as female precisely because of the traditional division of roles and therefore deserve female representation.
You wonder when the velvet glove will go out on the left
An example of this is daily transport. Mothers still ride their bicycles more often and fathers more often take the car. But governments that make decisions about infrastructure and road safety have few women in technical and managerial positions. As a result, women are more likely to have unnecessary accidents. so came a local government in Sweden only after a mandatory gender equality assessment behind that clearing snow from sidewalks rather than highways cuts the number of first aid patients by half.
Mayor Halsema said recently that she has encountered enough mediocre men in politics who she thought ‘as a woman you should only have been allowed to deliver the coffee’. Perhaps that is why politicians do not dare to criticize the traditional division of roles. Not even after the CPB states that mothers give up half of their income because of part-time work.
This political blindness is life-threatening. Someone born in a deprived area is less likely to become prime minister and night shelter policies are not made by those who sleep there. In the same way, economic inequality between men and women also permeates everyday life. Add to that the fact that part-time work by mothers increases the risk of poverty among families and you wonder when the velvet glove will go out on the left. Stop staring at the gender pay gap and tackle the underlying culprit called part-time work. Then women can save lives and men can serve coffee.