Sun, May 08, 2011 - Page 1 News List

More mothers unhappy than not, survey finds

By Rich Chang and Liao Chien-ying  /  Staff Reporters

More than 87 percent of Taiwanese women said they do not want to have children, while more than 50 percent of mothers said they are unhappy, according to survey results released by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday ahead of Mother’s Day today.

The survey, which polled 906 women between the ages of 20 and 49 with a margin of error of 3.3 percent, showed 54.9 percent of mothers said they felt unhappy while 41.3 percent said they are happy.

Meanwhile, 87.3 percent of women said they do not want to give birth.

The poll showed that 21.5 percent of women said they do not want to children because of the heavy economic burden. Deputy director of the DPP’s women’s affairs department Chiang Yueh-chin (蔣月琴) added that the poll showed women between the ages of 30 and 39 are most concerned about the cost of raising a child, followed by women in the 20 to 29 age group.

The head of the Taiwan Community Care Association, Liu Yu-hsiu (劉毓秀), told the press conference held by the DPP that the poll also suggested the nation’s low birthrate has much to do with its lack of a childcare system. Subsidies did little to encourage women to give birth because what the public really wants is an inexpensive and quality childcare system, she added.

A separate survey conducted by the online job bank Yes123 showed that 65 percent of working moms rated their level of hardship as high as 80 on a scale of 0 to 100.

The survey set a hardship index of 0 to 100, with every 10 points counting as a different range. Scores of between 0 and 60 indicated no hardship, 60 to 80 meant a manageable level of hardship and scores exceeding 80 indicated severe hardship.

According to the survey, which polled 2,122 working mothers with a margin of error of 2.13 percent, 65 percent of the respondents thought it was very hard to be a working mother and 35 percent experienced hardship exceeding a score of 90, symbolizing the excess hardships a working mother in Taiwan has to endure.

Of the surveyed women, 75.8 percent listed managing household affairs after work as the top reason they feel stress, while 64.5 percent listed raising children as the reason, 63.8 cited a lack of personal time and 59 percent said educating children caused stress.

Nearly 20 percent admitted to being stressed over the need to guard against xiaosan (小三). Xiaosan is a recent popular term that means the third party in an extramarital affair.

The survey also showed that mothers regarded governmental and corporate measures to benefit working mothers as inadequate, with 42 percent of working women feeling no beneficial measures of any sort for them.

When working mothers are faced with the dilemma of balancing work with caring for their children, nearly 67 percent said they would change their work because they were expecting children. Meanwhile, 20 percent said they did not file for unpaid parental leave out of fear of losing their jobs, the survey said.

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