Increase of the proportion of working women with children
In the context of International Women's Day, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, takes a closer look at the employment rate of women with and without children.
In Belgium, on average 75.3 % of women aged 25 to 49 are in work. For men in the same age group, this proportion amounts to 84 %. The number of children (up to 16 years old) in the household makes a big difference.
When it comes to employment, the proportion of women without children is practically the same as that of men: 77.5 % of women and 78.1 % of men without children have a job.
If the woman has one child, the employment rate decreases to 76.5 %, while it rises sharply to 88.7 % for men with one child.
However, a woman with two children is more often in work than the average of women: 79.1 %. The employment rate is also the highest for men with two children: 93 %.
For women with three children or more, the employment rate decreases sharply: 56.8 % of them are in work. For men with three children or more, this rate amounts to 84 %.
The gap between men and women remains significant in 2016. Nevertheless, a large increase of women’s employment rate has also been registered over the past 30 years (1986-2016): the general employment rate of women amounted to 52.6 % in 1986 (compared to 75.3 % in 2016). Where men's employment rates tend to be relatively stable, or drop here and there compared to 30 years ago, the employment rate of women in all categories rises by 20 % or more.
Employment rate of the 25-49 year-olds by sex and number of children (1986 and 2016)
|0 children||84.9 %||56.4 %||71.8 %||78.1 %||77.5 %||77.9 %|
|1 child||92.6 %||56.9 %||74.2 %||88.7 %||76.5 %||81.9 %|
|2 children||94.5 %||50.7 %||72.3 %||93.0 %||79.1 %||85.5 %|
|3 children or more||88.6 %||34.0 %||60.8 %||84.0 %||56.8 %||69.1 %|
|Total||89.7 %||52.6 %||71.4 %||84.0 %||75.3 %||79.7 %|
|The above figures apply to men and women aged 25 to 49, and to households with or without children up to 16 years old. The kinship of children with the man/woman concerned is not taken into account.|