The number of self-employed women rose by 11% between 2009 and 2014 (during which period the total number of self-employed workers rose by 8.7%), but this progress is largely due to the much higher number of women running part-time businesses. Their share went up by a third between 2009 and 2014, according to a study by SNI (Independent Union for the Self-Employed) based on data published by INASTI (National Institute for the Social Security of the Self-employed).
The same data shows that the number of part-time self-employed women has risen by 32% in the past 5 years, whereas the number of full-time self-employed women only rose by 3%. 25.6% of self-employed women were working part-time in 2014. The figure was 21.7% for men.
According to SNI, the issue can be resolved by upgrading of the social status of self-employed workers, and by striving to make it more appealing to women. “Employees enjoy all sorts of benefits, such as parental leave, time credit, 15-week maternity leave and the opportunity to work part-time,” stresses SNI President Christine Mattheeuws. “It is not easy to choose full-time self-employment when none of these benefits are available.”
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)