The proportion of women and men in the Grand Duchy's total population is more or less identical.

Life expectancy at birth for women is higher than for men (84.8 years for women compared with 80.2 years for men in 2013).

In the Grand Duchy, women marry younger than men. The average age at first marriage nevertheless continues to increase for both sexes. Most women these days marry when they are between 24 and 29 years old, whereas many men wait until they are between 30 and 34 years old.

In 2010, the number of children per woman was 1.63 and the average age of mothers at childbirth was 31.2 years. Nowadays, having one or two dependent children makes very little difference to women's participation in the labour market.

Women and employment

The proportion of women in work in the Grand Duchy has increased significantly since 1993. For women in the 25 to 49 years age bracket, the figure increased from 42.9% in 1983 to 76.5% in 2012. The gap between the figures for women and men (91.6% of men in the 25 to 49 years age bracket are in work) is one of the largest in Europe.

The proportion of women among the self-employed rose to 40% in 2008.

Part-time work remains limited almost exclusively to women. In 2010, 33.7% of women with at least one dependent child worked part-time, compared with 13.3% of those without dependent children. Because of the development of part-time work, women in the Grand Duchy are increasingly managing to combine the professional and family aspects of their lives.

The model of the 'single male breadwinner' which was very popular in the Grand Duchy in the 1980s and 1990s, is in decline.

Towards a gender balance in decision-making

Despite holding equal qualifications and their growing presence in the labour market, women in the Grand Duchy are still significantly under-represented among decision-makers in both the public and private sectors.

The proportion of female members of boards of directors, for example, is on average no more than 20%. In the civil service, although almost half of all senior civil servants in 2014 were women, only a quarter of them were in managerial posts.

The same is true in public establishments and businesses in which the State has an interest. Women are in a minority on the boards of directors of public establishments, and change is only being made very slowly.

To remedy the situation, the Luxembourg Government presented its strategy for a better gender balance in decision-making in September 2014.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day has been celebrated on 8 March each year since 1911. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Day, on 8 March 2011, the Centre for information and documentation about women Cid-Femmes (Information and Documentations Centre about Women) launched the www.fraendag.lu website devoted to the history of the International Women's Day in the Grand Duchy.

The site offers a historic overview of this day of action at the level of the Grand Duchy, shows the progress made over these past hundred years, and presents a number of people who have been involved in the women's movement in the Grand Duchy.

  • Updated 26-11-2015