Jakarta (ANTARA) - Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita said that the lack of available childcare facilities was causal to the low labor force participation rate of women in the country.

"There are several challenges in increasing women's labor force participation rate, such as the lack of choices for childcare services that are available at workplaces and in residential areas," the minister said here on Thursday (February 16).

At the webinar titled "Strengthening Ecosystem for Women Workers: Inclusive Workplace Policies," Kartasasmita noted that childcare services come at a high cost that are unaffordable to middle-income families.

He said this issue has caused several women to leave their jobs after they have children.

"This often causes women to decide to leave the world of work, especially those, who have small children," the minister pointed out.

Moreover, Kartasasmita said that women are also demanded to play their role and responsibility as housewives, thereby making it hard for them to prioritize their job.

“It is hard for Indonesian women to prioritize their job and give their all at work because majority of the women workers are expected to play their role and responsibility as housewives,” he explained.

This condition resulted in only 55.9 percent of women of the working age to participate in the labor force, and of that figure, around 81.8 percent work in the informal sector, Kartasasmita said.

"Two-thirds of Indonesia's female population are of the working age and have a higher level of education. Yet, only 55.9 percent of women participate in the workforce, where 81.8 percent of women's jobs are in the informal sector," he said.

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Translator: Anita Permata, Raka Adji
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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