IFC launches new project to promote employer-supported childcare in Fiji
22 August, 2018, 4:15 pm
SUVA, 22 AUGUST 2018 (IFC) – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the Australian Government, Tuesday launched a new project to promote women’s employment by addressing the lack of childcare support available in Fiji.
Lack of childcare support has been identified by the private sector as a key emerging barrier to increasing female labour force participation and productivity, particularly as more people migrate to urban areas, away from traditional extended family networks that often provide childcare support when both parents work.
This trend contributes to persistently low female labor force participation rates in Fiji, with only 39 percent of women in the workforce, compared to 74 percent for men.
IFC announced it would work with a group of companies to conduct a study into the childcare market. This would be the first step towards building awareness of the business case for employer-supported childcare and identifying tailored solutions for companies in Fiji.
“Supporting working parents – both mothers and fathers – is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” said Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Asia and the Pacific, at the launch event. “IFC is excited to promote employer-supported childcare in Fiji as we are confident it will pave the way for greater growth opportunities for both parents and businesses.”
IFC will build on the findings and methodology outlined in its global Tackling Childcare report, which demonstrates how employer-supported childcare helps attract and retain top talent and increases employee productivity and satisfaction. It will also draw upon lessons learned working with private sector clients in the Pacific, especially in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
“The private sector is well-positioned to be an essential partner for addressing the childcare challenge in Fiji,” said John Feakes, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji. “Australia is therefore proud to be supporting IFC in this innovative work.”
IFC’s study will draw upon its work with selected companies in Fiji and is expected to be released in early 2019. Along the way, IFC will also support companies in implementing childcare and other gender-smart solutions, tailored to each company’s individual needs for establishing more productive and gender equal workplaces.