Young Dutch women work least hours in Europe

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Nowhere else in Europe do young women work as few hours as in the Netherlands, according to a study by social and cultural planning office SCP. And nowhere else are the differences between men and women so large - 29 hours per week for women, and 37 hours per week for men, ANP reports.

Young women in the Netherlands are less often economically independent than their male peers, according to the study. The researchers consider a person economically independent if they earn at least 920 euros per month. The gender gap is especially large among people between the ages of 30 and 35 years in the Netherlands - 67 percent of women make at least 920 euros per month, compared 82 percent of men. 

The SCP attributes these differences to the fact that more women work part-time in the Netherlands than men. This often starts early in their career, even before children play a role. 63 percent of women up to the age of 25 work part time, or less than 35 hours a week, in the Netherlands. While only 30 percent of men in that age group work part time. That difference only increases later in life, when children start playing a role. In the age group 30 to 35 years, 68 percent of women work part time, compared to 13 percent of men.

According to SCP, this can partly be explained by the study directions men and women tend to take. Women more often study for a profession or sector that involves a lot of part time work, like healthcare. The SCP also notes that men often attach more value to a good income and career, while women find it more important to combine their job with hobbies or raising children. 

The planning office also found that employers often offer school leavers part-time work. Young people only ask for more hours from their employer once they've gained some experience. Women seem slightly less likely to do so than men, according to the study. 

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