Hungary among the best in the European ranking of women's opportunities
According to the recent analysis by the Mária Kopp Institute for Demography and Families (KINCS), Hungary is second on the list, together with Finland among the 27 countries of the European Union and the United Kingdom. Data on women's participation in the labor market, education, health, public life and related to childbirth show that in Hungary, compared to other Member States of the European Union, there are countless opportunities for women to prevail in most areas of life.
Compared to the gender-specific indexes that are common in Europe and often contrasting women and men, the aim of the KINCS ranking of women's opportunities in Europe was to prepare a ranking that specifically addresses opportunities affecting women to their benefit.
In the KINCS ranking, which was based on international databases, Sweden finished first, Hungary and Finland second, while France and Bulgaria third.
The index examined women's opportunities in the Member States of the European Union and the United Kingdom in five areas with a total of 20 variables, namely: employment, education, health, childbirth and public influence.
In terms of labor market opportunities, Hungary is among the best, as we are in fifth place in terms of female unemployment and women's income poverty, and there is a tax relief specifically for women in Hungary, similar to that found only in Spain and Malta. In Sweden, which has taken the first place in the ranking, the female employment rate is almost 80 percent, while in Hungary in 2019 it was 67.6 percent in the 20-64 age group, which means the second largest increase within the EU.
In terms of education opportunities for women, the Nordic states stand out, where more than half of women aged 25-64 have completed tertiary education. It is a thought-provoking fact that today the proportion of women among recent graduates exceeds that of men in all EU countries, with 60.4 percent of graduates in Hungary being female. Lithuania has the largest number of female teachers at universities (56.1%) and Latvia has an exceptionally high proportion of female PhD students (58.8%).
In terms of health care opportunities, Hungarian women can expect a lower number of healthy life years at birth compared to 14 Member States, but higher than 13 Member States, while their average life expectancy at birth lies at 79.7 years. Health visitor care is a Hungaricum, to which somewhat similar only exist in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the Netherlands, with the difference that in these countries this service is limited to the immediate postpartum period. With two exceptions, free HPV vaccination is now available in all EU states and is available free to 7th grade girls in Hungary.
The Visegrad Group, France, Croatia and Bulgaria rank first with equal scores concerning childbearing-related opportunities. In all seven countries, women receive a one-off allowance similar to maternity allowance after childbirth, and the period of state-assisted maternity and parental leave is also relatively long. After giving birth, mothers are provided with allowances in several countries in line with their previous salary, but only for a very short time, after which there is no new allowance. Hungary is exceptional in that from July this year, it provides the infant care fee (CSED) amounting to 100 percent of the salary, that is, in excess of the net salary, for a relatively long time (half a year), followed by the child care fee (GYED) and then child care allowance (GYES) until the child turns three years old.
The participation and influence of women in public life can be well characterized by their participation rates within the three branches of power and in management positions. Nowhere in the national parliaments does the proportion of women reach 50 percent. In the legislature, in two thirds of the EU member states (19 countries), the proportion of female representatives is less than 33%, in Hungary being 12.6%. Only two Member States (Sweden, Belgium) have more female than male ministers in the executive branch (i.e. goverments), in five other Member States the ratio is exactly 50-50%. There are also six countries where the proportion of women ministers is below 20 percent (with 21.4% in Hungary). In the judiciary, more women than men are members of the highest courts in eight Member States, including Hungary. The proportion of women in management positions exceeds 40% for four countries, with Hungary at sixth place on the list with a value of 39.4%.
All in all, if we compare the indicators of women's participation in the labor market, education, health, public life and related to childbirth in the EU Member States and the United Kingdom, Hungary ranks, together with Finland in second place, among the top five countries, which provide a wide range of opportunities for women.
The detailed analysis can be read on the KINCS website: www.koppmariaintezet.hu/elemzeseink