The proportion of women and men is more or less identical in the Luxembourg population as a whole.

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

In the Grand Duchy, men marry at an older age than women. The average age at first marriage nevertheless continues to increase for both sexes. Most men these days marry when they are between 30 and 34 years old, whereas many women marry when they are between 25 and 25 years old.

Men and employment

In the Grand Duchy, in every age group, more men than women are employed. In 2011, the rate of men in employment was 48.3%.

According to a STATEC study on men's living conditions, the employment rate for men increases with the number of children in the household.

Not surprisingly, part-time employment is much more common among women than among men, for whom it was about 4% in 2011.

Men's role in the family

Despite considerable efforts made in the field of equal opportunities, the predominant role of men in Luxembourg society is still that of the breadwinner concentrating on his professional life to the detriment of his family life.

Since its introduction in 1999, Luxembourgish men have gradually been taking more parental leave. Men are increasingly expressing the desire to devote more of their time to their families. This sometimes comes up against the realities of corporate life, with the vast majority of managers continuing to perpetuate a traditional model that leaves little room for matters involving the combination of work and family.

With its programme of 'positive action', the Ministry of Equal Opportunities has adopted a pro-active approach to cooperation with businesses, public administrations and the municipalities in order to raise awareness about equal opportunities for men and women. The goal is to change the culture in business with a view to a better reconciliation of work and family life for both women and men.

But awareness is important in order to change attitudes in both companies and in society to break the stereotype of the traditional man.

That is why the Luxembourg Government wants to initiate awareness projects to encourage fathers to make more use of parental leave, while involving the companies in which they work.

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 leading 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.

  • Updated 26-11-2015