Europe 1 with AFP 9:57 a.m., March 5, 2024

The balance between family and professional life still relies heavily on mothers, in particular for employed or working women, according to a Drees study published Tuesday, which looked at families with young children.

Mothers “are much more frequently unemployed or part-time” than fathers “for reasons related to children”, notes the Drees, based on the 2021 survey on child care and reception, which studies families having at least one child under 6 years old.

“This situation is sometimes forced, especially among employed or working mothers, for financial reasons or because of their employment conditions,” analyzes the Directorate of Research, Studies, Evaluation and Statistics (Drees) .

In 5 out of 6 cases, the mother is further “distant” from employment than the father

In half of the families studied, men and women are in a similar situation with regard to employment (full-time, part-time employment, unemployment, inactive).

46% are full-time.

When one parent is more "distant" from employment than the other, it is the mother in 5 out of 6 cases: 42% of mothers and 8% of fathers.

Among couples with young children, mothers are twice as often unemployed as fathers (28% versus 13%).

Unemployed mothers are more involved in the family sphere than unemployed fathers: children spend much more time during the week alone with the unemployed parent when it is the mother (25 hours per week) rather than the father ( 9 hours).


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31% of mothers do not have a full-time job because of children, compared to 5% of fathers

31% of mothers do not have a full-time job because of the children (compared to 5% of fathers): 16% are unemployed (4% of fathers), 15% are part-time (1% of fathers).

Employed or working mothers are more often forced than executives to stop working for their children, notes Drees.

Employed or working mothers are less likely to work full time (44%) than mothers who are executives or those in higher intellectual professions (74%).

The Drees explains this by lower remuneration and more restrictive employment conditions (not being able to work from home or change your schedule in the event of unforeseen circumstances, having irregular schedules from week to week, etc.).

“When parents cannot find a childcare solution, it is mainly mothers who take responsibility for unchosen parental care,” emphasizes Drees.