Suva, Fiji, August 21, 2018 – IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, with support from the Australian Government,
today launched a new project to promote women’s employment by addressing
the lack of childcare support available in Fiji.
Lack of childcare support has been identified
by the private sector as a key emerging barrier to increasing female labour
force participation and productivity, particularly as more people migrate
to urban areas, away from traditional extended family networks that often
provide childcare support when both parents work.
This trend contributes to persistently
low female labor force participation rates in Fiji, with only 39 percent
of women in the workforce, compared to 74 percent for men.
IFC today announced it would work with
a group of companies to conduct a study into the childcare market. This
would be the first step towards building awareness of the business case
for employer-supported childcare and identifying tailored solutions for
companies in Fiji.
“Supporting working parents – both
mothers and fathers – is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart
thing to do,” said Nena Stoiljkovic, IFC Vice President for Asia and the
Pacific, at the launch event. “IFC is excited to promote employer-supported
childcare in Fiji as we are confident it will pave the way for greater
growth opportunities for both parents and businesses.”
IFC will build on the findings and methodology
outlined in its global Tackling Childcare report, which demonstrates how
employer-supported childcare helps attract and retain top talent and increases
employee productivity and satisfaction. It will also draw upon lessons
learned working with private sector clients in the Pacific, especially
in Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
“The private sector is well-positioned
to be an essential partner for addressing the childcare challenge in Fiji,”
said John Feakes, Australian High Commissioner to Fiji. “Australia is
therefore proud to be supporting IFC in this innovative work.”
IFC’s study will draw upon its work
with selected companies in Fiji and is expected to be released in early
2019. Along the way, IFC will also support companies in implementing childcare
and other gender-smart solutions, tailored to each company’s individual
needs for establishing more productive and gender equal workplaces.
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank
Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private
sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities
in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more
than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging
the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared
prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org
DFAT-IFC Fiji Partnership
IFC’s work in Fiji is guided by the Fiji Partnership. The Australian Government
and IFC are working together through the Partnership to stimulate private
sector investment and reduce poverty in Fiji.