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More Danish women than men receive social welfare

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More Danish women than men receive social welfare
Photo: Iris/Scanpix
12:00 CET+01:00
More women than men in Denmark are living on social welfare payments, according to a report.

On International Women's Day, a common topic of debate is the incongruity between numbers of women compared to men in high-powered positions in business, politics and academia, as well as differences in salaries.

But women at the other end of the job market are also in a disadvantaged position compared to men, according to a report by avisen.dk.

More women than men in Denmark are living on social welfare payments, according to figures recorded by the Employment and Recruitment Authority (Styrelsen for Arbejdsmarked og Rekruttering).

Of 11 different types of social welfare payment, the number of women receiving support was higher than men for nine types, reports avisen.dk.

Over 60 per cent of people receiving unemployment insurance payments (dagpenge) were women, and more women than men also received payments related to sickness and disability-related reduced working hours.

A possible explanation for the phenomenon is the higher prevalence of women employed in sectors such as primary care, in which levels of stress and burnout are higher, says Karen Sjørup, gender researcher at Roskilde University.

“As a kindergarten carer, social worker or teacher an entirely different type of emotional investment is required compared to as a builder, where you can work together and take lunch breaks. This gives women an entirely different kind of stress,” Sjørup told avisen.dk.

There are some exceptions to this trend however. News agency Ritzau reports that slightly more men than women received unemployment support (kontanthjælp) well as the new integration welfare payment given to refugees.

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