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Low labor force participation, low fertility in Taiwan

Low labor force participation, low fertility in Taiwan

China Times: Low labor force participation, low fertility

Taiwan editorial abstract (File 1 of a daily roundup) Although the labor force participation rate among Taiwanese women has been increasing and is now near the 50 percent mark, it remains the lowest among Asia's four "little dragons." At the same time, the fertility rate among Taiwanese women declined to one birth per woman in 2009 -- the world's lowest level.
When an increasing number of women in Taiwan are receiving higher education and have professional expertise, the low labor force participation rate demonstrates that many barriers still need to be removed to facilitate women's access to the workplace.
With many women barred from taking up employment because of parenting obligations, providing good childcare benefits is a basic prerequisite to boosting the women's labor force participation rate.
Moreover, financial burdens and the pressure to take care of children are exactly the main reasons that are holding women back from having children.
The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou should present a more farsighted policy that focuses on women's roles in the country's long-term development, improving the employment environment for women and strengthening childcare benefits so as to enhance the country's overall competitiveness. (Jan. 16, 2010) (By Y.F. Low)