Poll: 86% of married women with children want to work

Kyodo

Eighty-six percent of married mothers would like to work, either as regular employees or part time, to boost household income, according to government data.

The figure will be included in the 2012 white paper on children and child rearing. An early draft of the document notes that despite the government’s efforts to date, it remains hard for women to continue working after giving birth.

The data were compiled through an online survey last November that covered women aged 20 to 49 with children under 19. The government received 12,289 valid responses, including from working wives.

According to the survey, 45.3 percent or respondents said they wish to work part time and 25.8 percent would like to become regular employees. Those who want to work part time at first and later as regular employees stood at 14.9 percent, while 11.6 indicated they do not wish to seek employment.

Asked when they would like to start working, 23.8 percent responded “as soon as possible” while 22.1 percent said they would prefer to wait until their children enter kindergarten or nursery school. Those who wish to start working after their children enter elementary school stood at 20.0 percent.

The white paper will also stress the importance of a bill aimed at bolstering child care measures, such as streamlining the much-criticized system used by the education and welfare ministries to separately supervise two similar kinds of nursery facilities.

Opposition parties have already criticized the proposed legislation, arguing it would do little to resolve overcrowding in nursery schools and kindergartens