The reason women leave jobs after marriage, child birth? Men, says Neda study
Filipino women between the age of 25 and 29 would put family over career in a patriarchal culture that allows men to reign over households, according to study of the Natonal Economic and Development Authority (Neda) on Wednesday, Oct. 2.
The study, “Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Philippines,” found that “culture, reflected in the patriarchal family structure, stereotyped gender roles and religion.”
This culture played a major role in Filipino women’s “labor participation rate.”
The study said when Filipino women get married or bear children, they tend to disappear from the labor picture to concentrate on family.
“More patriarchal family structures reduce a woman’s employment rate by 8-13 percentage points,” it added.
Neda said one way to drive women to work, instead of just staying home, was to start them young. “A review of educational learning materials and storybooks in early childhood to promote gender equality is recommended,” the study said.
It said giving male parents extended leave for paternal duties “will give husbands a fair share of caring for their babies.”
Other factors that could draw women to work were more day care centers in government and private offices and a provision for women to work at home through telecommuting, the study said.
“Labor force participation rates of women are consistently lower than those of men across all levels of education,” it said.
Women who have had tertiary or higher education, however, tend to stay at work. “Higher level of education does not increase the labor force participation of men,” the study said.
“This highlights the importance of investing in the education of women toward the attainment of a college diploma,” it added.
Discrimination in the workplace was also a contributing factor. The study said based on religion alone, “Muslims are least likely to be economically active.”
The Neda said it commissioned the study to know the reason for “stagnant labor force participation rate of Filipino women.”
Only 46 percent of the Philippine labor force in 2018 is female, the lowest among countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The figure hovered between 40 and 50 percent in the last 20 years.
The Neda said the study used 2015 data of family income and expenditure and labor and generated a total sample of 63,327 males and 61,387 females with ages between 15 and 65.
The study also used a “qualitative survey” through “focus group discussions with women groups, government officials, an Islamic religious leader and human resource managers from the private sector,” the Neda said./TSB
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.