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Weekly Roundups

Childcare Deficits Prevent Women From Entering the Workforce

By MBN Staff | Thu, 03/11/2021 - 10:44

Childcare is the main barrier for women's participation in the Mexican labor force, said the World Bank in the report, “Women's Labour Participation in Mexico,” released this week. According to the organization, the quantity and quality of childcare services do not help working women, nor do they help women with their intention to participate in the labor force. Only 5 percent of children aged zero to two in Mexico access childcare, well below the OECD average, the study revealed.

“The supply of childcare services is limited in coverage, fragmented and heterogeneous. This results in an unequal system of services that negatively affect women's labor participation,” the World Bank noted. This problem is partly explained by insufficient public spending and an unsuitable regulatory framework that does not recognize the right to childcare, which is uncoordinated and discriminatory, said Aylin Isık-Dikmelik, Senior Economist at the World Bank. Public spending on childcare in Mexico is about 0.04 percent of the national GDP, compared to an average of 0.29 percent among OECD countries. Currently, there are 13,000 childcare centres in Mexico. That means that there are 0.91 centers for every 1,000 children up to the age of six, according to INEGI.

“The role of the state as a promoter of childcare services is crucial in contributing to gender equality and women's participation in the labor market. The level of public spending is not the sole driver of the supply and quality of childcare services, but it is associated with the coverage and quality of these services,” the World Bank pointed out.

More news below:

  • Between 2017 and the start of the pandemic, in Mexico women earned on average MX$85 (US$3.9) for every MX$100 (US$4.6) earned by men, which means an average wage gap of 15 percent, according to the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (IMCO). Bias in salary negotiations, the so-called motherhood penalty and lack of access to education are factors that contribute to the gender pay gap. 

  • What measures can companies implement to address the gender pay gap? Courtney McColgan, Founder and CEO of Runa HR, writes this week for MBN about measures such as annual pay audits, adopting gender blind recruiting practices and implementing quantitative performance reviews. 

  • Guaranteeing economic participation, reducing the gender pay gap, eradicating gender-based violence in the workplace, establishing inclusive programs and ensuring work-life balance are among the recommendations made by the Gender Equality roundtables organized by Danone and the Business Coordinating Council (CCE) this week.

  • On Mar. 8, 2020, the country saw the largest female protest in Mexican history as women took the streets to fight for their rights, gender equality and to commemorate and raise awareness on the femicides and gender violence prevalent in the country. While this year, a protest of this scale was not possible because of the pandemic, the Mexican government prepared for a massive turnout nonetheless.

  • Tecnológico de Monterrey welcomed Dorothy Ruiz-Martinez, Mission Control Center Systems Ops at NASA, to its Women’s Day event. She talked about her trajectory in the aerospace sector, along with the challenges she has had to face.

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