39 % Of Women Prefer To Look After Their Own Children

39 % Of Women Prefer To Look After Their Own Children

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Childcare Main Barrier To Female Participation

Victor P Taffa

Caring for children remained the most common perceived barrier to participation in the labour market for women in 2016-17, despite increasing female participation in the labour force, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Data showed there was a fall in the number of women reporting they wanted to start work or work more but felt unable to because of perceived barriers down from 740,000 women in 2014-15 to 665,000 in 2016-17.

“Good news is that we are seeing a continued increase in female participation in the labour force, but the data shows that childcare remains the biggest challenge.” ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said.

“Around 159,000 women, representing around a quarter of women who wanted to do more work or start working, the main perceived barrier was the need to look after children. This was an increase from 19 % or 142,000 women in 2014-15.” Mr. Hockman said.

Where looking after children was the main perceived barrier, 39 % of women reported that they preferred to look after their children. A further 20 % cited the cost of the childcare was the barrier, 14 % cited that there was no available childcare, 12 % cited that their children were too young, while a further 15 % cited other reasons.

“These data provide insights into which remaining barriers could be addressed to encourage future participation in the workforce.” Mr. Hockman said.