The gender employment gap between young, prime-age men and women in Poland and Hungary is large in comparison to that in other EU countries. This is mainly due to the low employment rates among women with young children who withdraw from the labour market due to care duties. They face numerous barriers that hamper their return to employment, such as limited access to good quality and affordable childcare facilities, low levels of workplace flexibility, low engagement of fathers in childcare, and a lack of tailored active labour market policies that make it easier for parents to reconcile work and family life. Therefore, improvements in access to good quality and affordable early childcare institutions should be accompanied by policies that facilitate a more equal division of childcare duties among parents in order to change the gender norms around work. Without such shifts, women will face a double burden of being responsible for both paid work and unpaid domestic labour.
keywords: employment, gender, NEET
thematic categories: labour market