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Women Workers and Child Care

There’s a good piece in the Globe and Mail today describing Japan’s horrible female-labour force participation rate.  Besides blatent discrimination and biases about female workers in the male-dominated society, the article sites a lack of public child care funding as a main contributing problem:

…because there is so little organized child care in Japan, many women have to quit their jobs to raise children. Public spending on child care amounts to just 0.3 per cent of gross domestic product, far below the 0.7 per cent average for industrialized countries. That helps explain the unusual M shape in Japan’s female participation rate in the labour force. The rate drops sharply during women’s prime child-bearing years.

The Canadian government spends only .25 percent of Gross Domestic Product on early child care, and our governments have been criticized by the OECD for their failure to support families with young children.   The workforce participation rate of women in Canada is much higher than in Japan, but studies (such as this one by U of T professors Krashinsky and Cleveland) have also shown that improving child care funding would significantly aid women workers to find jobs, to find better jobs, and to move out of poverty.   So, why do you think it is so difficult to get governments in this country (outside of Quebec) to implement better child care systems?



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