On average, women contribute 40% less income to the household budget than their partners. The reason for this is primarily the so-called motherhood penalty.
A study from Switzerland shows that after the birth of the first child, in the first year, the income of mothers is 20 percent lower than that of their partners, in the following year, it is already 39 percent lower, and in the year after that, 40 percent.
The Motherhood Lifetime Penalty is 40-70%.
Comparable studies from Germany and the International Labor Organization show a similar picture: Compared to childless women, mothers of the same age lose on average between 40 percent (with one child) and almost 70 percent (with three or more children) of their income. Women without children do not experience this drop in income.
What about fathers?
In the case of fathers, children seem to have no impact on their wages: In comparison with men's average lifetime earnings
fathers even earn as much as 20 percent more
Why is that?
In Switzerland and in many other countries, the birth of one or more children represents, from a social point of view, the greatest turning point in a woman's biography.
Women are unilaterally responsible for childcare and household duties. Women's professional freedom ends with the birth of their first child, because in the existing system, schools, taxes, and social insurance are geared towards the mother taking care of the children at home - and fathers are burdened with the financial duty of the breadwinner.
An equal parental leave would be helpful, because the current paternity leave of two weeks continues to cement old role models. Young mothers end up bearing the risk of being absent from the workplace - with the corresponding wage consequences.
In addition, there is a need for better compatibility: day schools, individual taxation, the elimination of the marriage penalty, the adjustment of care and education credits, and a consensus throughout society that family is not just a private matter.