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IFC: Most BD firms do not offer childcare

  • Published at 11:03 pm November 6th, 2019
IFC
Officials of IFC at the report publishing ceremony in Dhaka on Wednesday, November 6, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

In a survey report released on Wednesday, they found only 23% offer childcare options to their employees, 16% plan to, while 61% have no plans yet, said a press release

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, said 77% of companies surveyed in Bangladesh do not yet offer childcare options to their employees, potentially preventing women from participating equally in the labor force in the country.

In a survey report released on Wednesday, they found only 23% offer childcare options to their employees, 16% plan to, while 61% have no plans yet, said a press release.

Lack of access to good quality, affordable childcare is a major obstacle to women’s participation in the labor force across the world because women usually bear a disproportionate share of childcare responsibilities.

Studies, including from IFC, suggest that employer-supported childcare can be a win-win for all – it improves physical and cognitive outcomes for children, enhances employment opportunities for women, and boosts productivity and profits for businesses — supporting socio-economic growth.

In Bangladesh, companies with more than 40 female employees are legally required to offer childcare options. 

IFC conducted the survey to better understand the opportunities and challenges that companies face in the country, aiming to raise awareness that the benefits of employer-supported childcare outweigh the cost of implementing it.

“Employers that provide childcare attract and retain quality employees, most pointedly women employees. Employer-sponsored childcare and family-friendly workplace policies can benefit families, businesses, and the economy,” said Wendy Werner, IFC country manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

The survey, conducted between May and July, was funded by the Canadian government and developed after consultations with over 75 employees and 40 stakeholders, including government representatives and care providers.

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