Reducing the Gender Employment Gap in Hungary

image of Reducing the Gender Employment Gap in Hungary

In Hungary, women are much less likely than men to be in paid work. Despite recent policy reforms and employment increases for both men and women since the global financial crisis, the gender employment gap has widened over the past years. It is now at its highest point since the mid-1990s. A major reason for the persistent employment gap in Hungary is that most mothers with very young children take an extended period out of paid work following childbirth - often until the child is two or three years of age. Traditional family attitudes towards gender roles and caring for very young children play a role. In addition, access to and use of childcare services for very young children remains limited despite some improvements, and flexible working arrangements are not widespread. For Hungary, closing the gender employment gap responds to both gender equality and labour market issues. This report analyses recent reforms and explores potential policy actions in the areas of early childhood education and care, parental leave and flexible working arrangements, which could provide women - and especially mothers of very young children - with better access to paid work.


An overview of policy options to reduce the gender employment gap in Hungary

This chapter provides an overview of the key issues covered in the report. It illustrates the gender gaps in labour market statistics and considers issues related to gender roles in families with very young children in Hungary. It then presents an overview of key Hungarian policies related to leave around childbirth, early childhood education and care services and flexible working arrangements, and complements it with selected international policy examples. This is followed by a series of policy recommendations in these three areas that could support a reduction of the gender employment gap in Hungary, with a special focus on the labour market attachment and participation of mothers of young children. The last section presents the methodology and structure of the report.


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