Home News Belgian gender equality remains a distant goal

Belgian gender equality remains a distant goal

Published on 28/07/2004

28 July 2004

BRUSSELS – The gap between the sexes remains wider than ever in Belgium, according to new figures released by EU statistical office Eurostat.

A survey conducted in nine European countries reveals that Belgian and German women in particular do the most housework compared to men.

Confirming traditional stereotypes, Belgian women in particular dedicate 70 percent more time to domestic chores than their male counterparts.

Belgian men spend 30 percent more time than women in paid work and studying, according to figures collected between 1998 and 2002.

Belgian women work on average 1362 hours in paid employment, compared to 1781 hours for men.

By contrast, Norwegians and Swedes appear to be the champions of equality in the workplace.

The struggling numbers of Belgian women in paid employment is a criticism frequently raised by international organizations working in the country.

One Belgian in two has a job, compared to over seven out of ten Swedes and Norwegians.

But the survey shows that all is not lost in the battle to restore equality between the sexes.

Although Belgian men spend just two percent of their spare time doing housework – an average three minutes every day compared to women’s 37 minutes – they make up for it by spending more time with the children.

Twelve percent of their spare time is dedicated to their offspring, with the figure standing at 13 percent for women.

Belgium’s performance in this respect sets a European record.

But men still prefer to stick to their traditional household chores, such as gardening and DIY, rather than give a hand with the cooking.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian News