Women’s employment patterns are tightly connected to motherhood as can be seen in the chart below. One of the key issues in increasing female labour force participation is thus the compatibility of childrearing and employment.
Our chart illustrates the remarkable differences between countries in mothers’ employment. In Slovakia, where mothers of small children participate least in paid work outside home, the employment gap between mothers and other women is 42.2 percentage points. Similarly big differences can be found in Hungary and Czech Republic thus demonstrating huge potential for improvement in employment.
Surprisingly, a few countries, where women otherwise have high employment rates, have low participation rates for mothers of small children; Finland, Germany and the United Kingdom stand out especially. At the other end, Sweden, Denmark, and Slovenia illustrate how combining work and family can be possible for mothers.