Getting more women to work

The government is finding ways and means to increase the workforce. First they thought of increasing the population by 2 million without considering the costs involved. Now they also want more of our women to join the workforce.

There is no doubt increased women participation would increase our GDP or even GDP per capita. But it comes at a much higher social cost that cannot be measured in dollars and cents.

I spoke to a taxi driver once. His youngest kid is getting into all sorts of problems in school and it saddens him. Many years ago when he still made a decent living, he could afford to let his wife stay at home to look after the kids. As a result, the kids were well behaved and well taken care of. He no longer earns enough given the hefty taxi hiring fees he has to pay so his wife has had to work in a factory to help make ends meet. With no adult at home to guide them, the kids started to go astray.

I don’t understand why our government is always short sighted in the way they see things. A proper upbringing and a mother’s care is worth so much more than the few hundred dollars they can make at work. The social consequences of not having a good upbringing would be wasted, under-educated lives that would in years to come add to our list of unemployables.

If we really need to increase women participation in the work force, consideration should be made to allow them to work from homes. For example, telephone operators need not travel to a call centre to answer calls. We’re so connected these days I don’t see why she can’t connect to the call centre from home. A lady software developer can always do her coding at home so that she could at least provide her children the comfort of a mother’s presence. Work should ultimately be judged by her output and not how much time she spent in office.

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