A qualitative analysis of the child penalty in the Netherlands

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2021-08-31
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en
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Introduction: There is a considerable gap in worked hours between men and women in the Netherlands. Women work on average 28 hours per week where men work on average 39 hours per week. Research has shown that child birth can explain 80-90% of this gap. Women reduce their work hours with 48% after the birth of their first child, while men continue their work hours. This thesis aims to explain why child birth has such a different impact on men and women. The factors that influence the impact of childbirth are identified. Methods: A qualitative study has been performed where 18 participants have been interviewed in-depth. To identify the factors of importance, the capabilities framework of Hobson is implemented. Results: The results show five main factors: workplace resistance for fathers, accommodating workplace for mothers, arrangement of maternity period, gender beliefs and finances. Discussion and Conclusion: The results of this study provide a clear insight in the factors that influence the work hours of women and men after child birth in the Netherlands. This could serve as a starting point for future in-depth research or policy interventions.
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Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen
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