Fri, Jul 21, 2006 - Page 2 News List

CEPD plans policies for working women

INCENTIVES Maternity-leave subsidies and daycare are among policies being considered to encourage women to both stay in the workforce and have more children


In a bid to help women be able to contribute more to the workplace and take better care of their families, the government is studying measures to remove barriers for career women on both fronts, a spokesman for the Council for Economic Planning and Development said yesterday.

According to the spokesman, the council has been working on crafting policies to help women enjoy salaries equal to those of their male counterparts and to provide career women with financial subsidies for maternity leave and better daycare services for their children.

Compared with career woman in many other countries, Taiwan's female workers receive poor salaries, although many of them are college graduates or even hold higher degrees, the spokesman said.

According to a council review, female workers' salaries averaged 78.2 percent of those of their male counterparts last year -- an improvement from 70 percent 10 years ago but still lagging behind an average 85 percent in EU member states and 81 percent in the US.

While the Gender Equality Employment Law (兩性工作平等法) came into effect four years ago, officials said the salary gap remained wide.

If measures under discussion were to be put in place, it would boost women's willingness to stay in the workplace longer and rear more children, minimizing the impact of a graying population on the economy and society, they said.

The officials attributed salary inequality to several key factors, including a lack of professional training, quitting work to get married and needing to take care of their families.

A 2003 report by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics showed that 28.7 percent of married career women surveyed said they had resigned to get married, while 15.5 percent said they had quit work to give birth.

Meanwhile, most women working in low-income and unskilled professions, such as vendors or administrative personnel, stay for fewer years at the same company and prefer to work part-time because of family constraints, the officials said.

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