Employment of Women in Singapore

1541 Words7 Pages
One of the key challenges faced by working women is striking a harmony between work and personal or family life. To be a good mother necessitates less time spent at the workplace, and to have a full time job means less time spent with their children. In the present work environment, women can have more children and continue to work but they will suffer from anxiety over their children's welfare, or their children will suffer because of the physical and mental burden women have of balancing family concerns and work. However, if women opt out of the work force, they will forgo the benefits of employment, including social integration, social status and financial independence. As life expectancy of women increases, good health and effective financial management are important to ensure that when they live and work longer, they are also financially well prepared for old age. The female participation in the Singapore labor force has risen significantly over the years however it is still lower than that in many developed countries. Singapore women are more likely to drop out of the labor force after marriage and childbirth. Many do not resume work, unlike in Japan and Korea where most of the women would rejoin the workforce when their children are older. 2. INTEREST IN RETURNING TO WORK In November 1995, the Ministry of Manpower released its report on Women Returning to Work. The 152 women respondents were participants at a series of workshops organized by the NTUC from July to September 1995 to encourage women to return to work. The findings showed that more then three-quarters of non-working women who were keen to go back to work prefer part time jobs 77% and only 13% preferred to work full time. Majority of those who were interested to work preferred clerical (59%) and sales & service jobs (15%). 13% preferred professional, technical & administrative work and 4% preferred production & cleaners work. These preferences could be explained by the educational attainment of the respondents, majority of who had lower secondary or secondary education. 3. REASONS HOLDING WOMEN BACK FROM REJOINING THE WORKFORCE The most commonly cited reasons holding the women back from joining the workforce were children and household responsibilities, the lack of suitable jobs near their homes, lack of part-time working arrangements and the lack of required qualifications or skills. A proportion of the females mainly in the 40 to 49 years age group did not know where to look for jobs and had problems adjusting to working life, possibly due to a lack of confidence after a long absence from the workplace.
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