gender equality

6 in 10 working Filipino moms struggle to balance job, family life – survey

Michelle Abad

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6 in 10 working Filipino moms struggle to balance job, family life – survey


Most of the mothers who participated in the survey conducted in six Southeast Asian countries believe that remote and flexible working arrangements would be beneficial for them

MANILA, Philippines – More than 6 in 10 working Filipino mothers find difficulty balancing their professional and family lives, a new survey found.

In a poll conducted by survey software company Milieu Insight released on Wednesday, May 8, 66% of Filipino mothers said they had a hard time finding time for both work and family commitments.

The Filipinas’ case follows the trend in Southeast Asia, where the company surveyed 3,000 respondents.

With the exception of Thailand, a majority of respondents in the rest of the countries included in the survey – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines expressed difficulty in finding time for both work and family commitments. This sentiment was highest among Filipino mothers.

Even while having a day job, 40% of the Filipino mothers said that they take on more house responsibilities than their partner, while 26% said they are solely responsible for them.

In the region, the survey found that 1 in 5 working mothers in Southeast Asia felt that being a mother has had an adverse impact on their career – the highest in Singapore at 40%.

In Singapore, 19% of mothers – the lowest among those surveyed – said they were solely responsible for household management at just 19%. This is a stark contrast to its neighbor Indonesia where 43% of mothers shouldered housework alone.

Flexible work could help

According to the surveyed mothers, one way to help them achieve better work-family balance was the implementation of flexible working arrangements.

Around 79% of the Filipino moms said that implementing flexible working hours, or providing remote options, was a way their workplace could better support working moms.

It was the overwhelming preference over the other options, which were on-site childcare facilities (21%), parental support groups or networks (24%), extended leave policies (30%), and career development programs tailored for working moms (47%).

Most mothers in the region believed remote and flexible working arrangements would be beneficial for them, at 73%.

“It’s heartening to know that working mothers in Asia employ various strategies to navigate the complexities of their personal and professional lives. As we celebrate the pivotal role of mothers in our society this Mother’s Day, let us acknowledge and address their strength and sacrifices,” said Milieu Insight co-founder Juda Kanaprach.

Unpaid domestic care work

In the Philippines, where feminist researchers have noted a prevailing patriarchal culture, traditional gender roles still exist with men as providers and women as homemakers.

But both women and men have taken up roles of supporting their families – the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) found that in March, almost 20.6 million women in the labor force were employed, not too far from the 28.6 million employed men.

While the PSA does not measure how many of the 20.6 million women are mothers, women’s rights organizations still point to the prevalence of unpaid domestic care work. As the Milieu survey suggested, many working moms still feel the burden of attending to housework more than their partner.e

During the Labor Day rallies on May 1, Judy Miranda of the NAGKAISA labor coalition told Rappler that both the government and employers have a shared responsibility in addressing the burdens of unpaid domestic care work.

6 in 10 working Filipino moms struggle to balance job, family life – survey

Miranda said some examples of policies that could help working Filipino mothers are a public laundry system, and an always-open daycare center. –

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.