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A latest survey from the The Census and Statistics Department revealed that taking care of family is the major reason why women leave their jobs.
The department was tasked by the Labour and Welfare Bureau to conduct the survey from September to December 2013. Among the 600,000 housewives that were surveyed, 76% said they had been employed before and 50% left their jobs to attend to families.
The average period that respondents had left their last job was 10 years.
When being asked if they are willing to take up full-time or part-time job, 83% indicated they will definitely not do it or are unlikely to do it.
68% said that handling household chores is the main reason for them not to join the workforce and another 34% said they have to take care of families.
Wu Mei Lin, coordinator of the Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association said many lower class families are facing huge financial pressure but housewives are not able to work because they have to take care of young children.
“Many gave up work because what they made, is not even able to cover the outrageous price for child care services,” she said.
Wu suggested the government to subsidise low-income family on full-day child care services as an incentive for housewives to re-enter the job market.
With regard to women’s concern over balancing between work and family government spokesperson said the Labour and Welfare Bureau is strengthening the relevant support services, including enhancing child care and after-school care services.
“We are working on promoting family-friendly employment practices, and improving employment support and employee retraining services, so as to remove the barriers for women and create an enabling environment for them to enter the labour market, including working full-time, part-time and work at home,” he said.