Netherlands fails on gender equality: down to spot 38 in the world

The Netherlands is ranked 38 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for gender inequality. This is 11 places lower than the year before, showing us that inequality between men and women in the Netherlands has increased, reports NOS

They surveyed 153 countries around the world looking only at equality. 101 of these 153 countries have made major strides towards eliminating the gap between men and women. In the Netherlands, 73.6% of this inequality gap is been “closed this year”, much lower than the last year which was 74.7%. However, only 68.6% of the gap worldwide as been closed. They estimate that it would take another 100 years before we see true gender equality in the world.

Why does the Netherlands rank so low?

The Global Gender Gap Index places Scandinavian countries at the top: Iceland is first, Norway in second place, Finland in third and Sweden in fourth. Uruguay (37), Rwanda (9). Costa Rica (13) all beat the Netherlands.

According to NOS, this huge gap between men and women exists because of the “difference in political influence”. Also, women do spend more time on unpaid labour and “care duties”. We also know that the pay gap is increasing where women earn 6.4% less than men for the same job they do. So how progressive is the Netherlands really?

Do you agree that things can improve when it comes to gender inequality in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: Werner Heiber/Pixabay

Kavana Desai
Kavana Desai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.


  1. Have longer paid maternity and paternity leaves! (How is 2-5 days at home with a newborn baby enough to make a dad feel comfortable and able to look after the child? Already in these first weeks and months, the pattern as established with the mother being the primary care giver and hence she will also more likely be the one to take (unpaid) parental leave later on.)
    Encourage companies to invest in diversity at all levels.
    Create more awareness of which factors play a role in the gender gap and find out WHY women may be reluctant to take on new roles/career development opportunities. What would make them be less reluctant?

  2. Same job, same skills and experience, same pay. That aspect of parity is simple, welcome and overdue because it’s meritocratic. But quotas? Equal proportions of men and women throughout all industries? WEF need to get real. Not everyone wants to work in certain sectors or at specific levels within a business or organization. To foist the concept of quotas in the guise of equality or fairness on supposedly free democratic societies is yet more woolly thinking by unaccountable technocrats.


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