Spanning from changing fathers’ attitudes and behaviors towards early childhood education, to promoting employed-supported childcare, and sharing innovative interventions to help retain mothers in the labor force, the UFGE Childcare Solutions miniseries is taking place in April and May as part of the broader Solutions for Women’s Empowerment webinar series. Read more.
Links to register for upcoming sessions and recordings of past sessions can be found below.
Childcare Solutions – Part IV: Implementing childcare interventions - what works and how can it be scaled up?
May 12, 2021 | Watch the recording here
Women often face difficult decisions about how to balance work with childcare. Some mothers opt to stay out of the labor market due to their childcare responsibilities. For instance, a study conducted in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, found that only half of the mothers of 2-year-old children work. For other mothers, pursuing employment opportunities means bringing their children along to unsafe workplaces or leaving their children behind under limited supervision. Female participants in public works activities carried out under a World Bank Project in Burkina Faso were often faced with this challenge.
Speakers of this session will present on interventions that helped mothers in Burkina Faso and Mongolia reconcile their care and work responsibilities and the effects these have had on women’s labor force participation: the Burkina Faso Youth Employment and Skills Development Project developed a mobile childcare intervention to encourage women’s participation in public work activities supported by the project, while providing mothers a quality source of care and stimulation for their children. Speakers will discuss what it took to design and deliver this innovative childcare solution and will provide an overview of efforts to scale it up in the region, along with sharing insights from an impact evaluation. The Ulaanbaatar study used a lottery run to provide access to childcare slots to measure the causal impact of free public childcare on parents’ labor market outcomes. The intervention increased mother’s employment, hourly wage as well as their probability of having a contract, receiving social security and working full time. It also increased father’s hourly wage.
Childcare Solutions – Part III: Creating family-friendly workplaces. Lessons from South and East Asia, and MENA
May 6, 2021 | Watch the recording here
Access to good quality and affordable early childhood care and education (ECCE) is a win-win-win for families, particularly for working mothers to help them enter and stay in the workforce, as well as for employers and economies. Since 2017, IFC has published a series of reports spanning different countries in South and East Asia and Pacific on the business case and good practices for employer-supported childcare, which have mobilized private and public sector action to advance ECCE. IFC also set up a Global Tackling Childcare Advisory Program that has provided technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to public and private sector clients all over the world to advance childcare and family-friendly policies such as paid leave, flex work, and breastfeeding. For a private sector childcare market to flourish and increase business and employment opportunities for women, a good regulatory framework is essential. To this purpose, the World Bank has started working on improving the regulatory framework in Jordan to create a balance between streamlining and quality standards.
This session will feature latest IFC’s research findings on the business case for employer-supported childcare in Pakistan and Vietnam, as well as insights from the work conducted by the Mashreq Gender Facility to enhance the regulatory framework in Jordan, and an overview of IFC’s guidance note for and work with employers on childcare during COVID-19.
Childcare Solutions – Part II: The impact of childcare on women’s labor force participation – the devil in the details
April 28, 2021 | Watch the recording here
Globally, the lack of childcare services is associated with lower rates of female labor force participation. Having children between 0-5 years old significantly lowers women’s opportunities to join the labor market and retain their jobs. Given that women are predominantly responsible for unpaid care work, the correlation of increased public preschool availability and women’s labor force participation is not surprising.
This session featured findings from three different studies released by the East Asia and Pacific Gender Innovation Lab (EAP GIL), the Mashreq Gender Facility (MGF), and the South Asia Gender Innovation Lab (SAR GIL), which show that making childcare services available increases women’s chances of participating in the labor market. Results from EAP GIL’s research in Indonesia suggest that features of childcare services, such as number of hours they are open for, may have important implication for women’s labor market outcomes, such as paid or unpaid work, number of hours worked, and ultimately, welfare outcomes of women and their households. In its report, the MGF finds that getting married and having children is associated with lower labor force participation rates for women in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon, and calls for adequate legal and regulatory framework, and the promotion of more gender
Childcare Solutions – Part I: Changing fathers’ attitudes and involvement in care and early childhood education
April 21, 2021 | Watch the recording here
Gender roles concerning the care of young children are strongly related to differential use of time between fathers and mothers and a competing demand for care and work activities. Given that productive and reproductive years overlap for women, key barriers to work are often related to the conflicting demands of their time spent on care and work-related activities which produce a vicious circle of low labor participation, reduced earnings, and persistent inequalities. Incentivizing fathers’ involvement in child-bearing practices has the potential to affect two important goals: ensuring that children get appropriate attention and care to foster their development; and facilitating higher female labor force participation. Care and early childhood education policies, as well as maternity, paternity, and parental leave provisions are critical for reducing the barriers to participation of both parents in the labor market and in parenting.
This session discussed policy interventions to influence fathers’ involvement through behavioral approaches based on the idea that social norms and individual beliefs of the roles of fathers and mothers in childcare pull them toward certain frames and patterns of collective behavior with resulting consequences on gender inequality.