70 pct of women suffer from work-related stress: survey

2023-03-08 02:51     BY Yuki Lei    Comment:6

The findings of a survey carried out by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions’ Women’s Committee released yesterday show that 70 percent of 878 local women aged above 18, especially those who were employed at the time of the survey, said that they were suffering from work-related stress.

The Macau Federation of Trade Unions is commonly known as Gung Luen in Cantonese.

The committee hosted a press conference yesterday at the Fai Chi Kei Family and Community Integrated Service Centre to present the findings of its “2023 Macau women’s life and employment situation survey”. With the aim of analysing the situation and opinions of women in various aspects such as household economy, job prospects and family care during the post-COVID-19 pandemic, members of the committee collected 878 valid questionnaires via social media between February 15-28.

According to the findings, among another 70 percent of the respondents who said they were worried about their employment situation, 45.8 percent said they were “rather worried”, while 23.5 percent were “very worried”.

The findings also showed that around 38 percent of the respondents found their daily life “stressful”, with about 29 finding their daily lives “very stressful”, mainly because of their financial situation, taking care of children or senior citizens, and the condition of their health.

The findings noted that 61.5 percent of the respondents suffered income loss or financial difficulties due to the pandemic, with 88.3 percent saying that the government should launch a new phase of its financial support scheme.

The survey found that 67 percent of the respondents had to take care of their underage children and elderly family members, while 70 percent of them had to take care of two or more people in a household.

Ella Lei Cheng I, directly-elected lawmaker-cum-vice president of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, urged the government during yesterday’s press conference to continue to give priority to the employment of local residents, in particular by setting up indicators for the gaming sector or other key industries to hire or promote locals, so as to encourage employment stability and career development opportunities for local employees.

In order to strengthen the protection of women, Lei also urged the government to improve the city’s law on labour relations, such as by gradually increasing maternity leave to the level recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), to improve employment protection for pregnant women, “vigorously” promote the implementation of breastfeeding facilities in both government entities and private enterprises, so as to provide a “friendly” working environment and rest arrangements to those who need to breastfeed.

Concerning the issue that local women working in private enterprises only have 70 days of maternity leave, which is less than that in neighbouring areas, Lei said she hoped that the government would formulate a plan and strive to gradually raise the maternity leave to 98 days.

Ho Iok Cheng, vice director of the women’s committee, said that the government should increase resources for community services. Apart from optimising the carers’ allowance scheme, Ho added, the government should also enhance the existing social support system, build more homes for the elderly or disabled, and increase support or respite care facilities to help alleviate the pressure on family care. 

The Macau Federation of Trade Unions’ Policy Research Office Research Officer Lei Chin Tou (first from left), Women’s Committee Vice Directors Liu Feng Ming (second from left) and Ho Iok Cheng (first from right), and Director Leong Meng Ian (second from right), as well as legislator Ella Lei Cheng I (centre), who is also the vice president of the union, pose at yesterday’s press conference about the findings of the “2023 Macau women’s life and employment situation survey” at the Fai Chi Kei Family and Community Integrated Service Centre. – Photo: Yuki Lei

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