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Kids and career: The facts and figures


Women in Europe struggle to combine kids and career. © Jupiter
Women in Europe struggle to combine kids and career. © Jupiter
Six million women between 25 and 49 are forced to stay at home or take a part-time job because of a lack of childcare, or of sufficient childcare, according to a report by the EU Commission.

The heads of the EU states and governments agree that this must change.

By the end of this year, the goal is for childcare to be available to 90 percent of all children of pre-school age. For children under three, there should be childcare facilities on offer for at least 33 percent.

So far, fewer than half of the EU member states are on track to hit these targets.

Figures, facts and information about working women and their children:

•    Women make up more than half of the working population within Europe on average. In Sweden and Denmark, over 70 percent of women work, in Germany just under 60 percent.

•    Women make up over half of all graduates – 58.9 percent – and generally finish with better grades.

•    A third of all women in Europe work part-time, while that figure for men is only 10 percent.

•    France spends 1.3 percent of its gross domestic product on childcare, Italy less than 0.7 percent, Denmark 2.7 percent.

•    In Denmark, two thirds, and in the Netherlands 29.5 percent of children under two are cared for in nurseries; in Germany that figure is as low as 13 percent.

•    Children from families where both parents work have fewer problems at school, according to a Europe-wide study. They also often get better grades, especially in languages and the sciences.

•    When more women work, the gross domestic product of the country increases, according to a study by Goldman Sachs: 21 percent in Italy, 19 percent in Spain, 16 percent in Japan, and 9 percent in France.


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