Pay gap between men and women is decreasing: but better distribution of care tasks at home could still make a difference

The pay gap between men and women is narrowing further and further, more sharply in business than in government. However, there is still much to improve upon. With a fairer distribution of paid and unpaid work, households in the Netherlands would benefit by about 1,000 euros.

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An economic simulation commissioned by ABN AMRO shows that an equal division of labor between men and women would have increased the gross domestic product by almost 11 billion euros per year from 2010 onwards. That effect is without the fact that more hours would be worked in total. There is still much to be gained in the division of care and household tasks. Currently, women perform more unpaid work than men. In an equal situation, women would perform more than a quarter more paid work.

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In a gender-equal situation, the income per person increases by an average of 881 euros per year, says ABN AMRO. A household would benefit by 1,000 euros per year. In such a situation, men would do more than 17 percent less paid work.

Chantal Korteweg is director of Inclusive Banking at ABN AMRO and says, “This form of inequality is now costing us as a society. No one has to work more hours, the work is just distributed differently. That is precisely what yields more benefits for the Netherlands.”

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From the moment that couples have children, the skewed growth continues. Women often have a lower income because they work fewer hours, but the side effects also start to mount.

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Author: Jobly