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Gender inequalities remain when balancing work and family life

woman and child in kitchen
One in six mothers is a full-time housewife in Switzerland Keystone / Gaetan Bally

“Dad full-time, mum part-time” is the employment model in Switzerland for 53% of families with children aged under 25. This is followed by “dad earns the bread, mum bakes it”, according to latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office.

Just behind the families with mothers who work exclusively as housewives (16% of cases) are those in which both partners work full-time (13%). Both work part-time 8% of the time, the office reportedExternal link on Tuesday in its Swiss Labour Force Survey.

As the children grow older, women’s employment increases. In 52% of households without children, both partners work full-time.

For couples with children under 25, the man contributes 65% of household income, compared with 58% for couples without children. The woman’s contribution decreases as the number of children increases: with one child she provides 32% of the budget, with three or more children this falls to 20%.


EU comparison

Switzerland stands out in an international comparison owing to the high proportion of part-time workers, the statistical office said. While 63% of all employed women aged 25 to 54 work part-time in Switzerland, the figure is only 28% in the European Union.

There is also a difference among men of the same age. In Switzerland 16% of employed men work part-time, compared with 7% in the EU’s 27 member states. At 82%, women with partners and children under 25 make up the highest share of part-time workers.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR