Women's labour force participation

In the Netherlands, many women work only part-time. Therefore they earn too little to be financially independent. In addition, too few women are being promoted to top executive positions in business. The government therefore wants to make women more economically independent and encourage them to make the most of their talents.

More women in work

The government does not oblige women to work - the choice is up to the individual. However, the government wants to make it easier for men and women to combine work with care responsibilities. It is also important for women to understand the financial risks of not being economically independent. After all, getting divorced or having an unemployed partner can have major financial consequences.

Combining work and family care more effectively

Women sometimes encounter obstacles in looking for employment outside the home because they find it difficult to combine this with looking after their children. Often, women shoulder most of the responsibility for caring for their families. It should be made easier for both men and women to combine a paid job with caring for their family. For instance, businesses could be given incentives to arrange flexible working hours, introduce parental leave schemes or make a financial contribution towards the costs of child care.

Increasing opportunities for low-skilled women

Many low-skilled women do no paid work. The government has signed agreements with municipal authorities to encourage low-skilled women without jobs or benefits to discover their talents. The aim is to give them greater self-confidence in looking for work or training.

People who struggle with reading and writing have more difficulty finding a job. Functional illiteracy is still very common, also among women. The Foundation for Reading and Writing is currently tackling illiteracy among adults in the Netherlands.

More women in top posts

Research has shown that diversity in top executive positions boosts corporate results. The government therefore wants more women to be promoted to senior positions. Furthermore, as from 1 January 2013, management and supervisory boards must consist of at least 30% women and 30% men. This legal target will be valid until 2020. The government is also taking action to have more women in senior positions (including management) in central government.