Survey finds women desire to pursue further studies

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Issue 803, Page 3
Word count: 496
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A recent survey found that more than 65 percent of the women respondents did not pursue continuing education mainly because of being busy at work and costly course fees.

The Women’s General Association of Macau (AGMM) conducted a street survey this month in Macau’s central district and around Avenida de Horta e Costa to investigate the current situation of women taking up further studies in Macau.

Among the 650 questionnaires distributed, 646 were valid and used to conclude findings.

The results showed that some 66 percent of the women respondents did not take part in any educational courses.

In addition, employment training courses appeared to be mostly wanted by over 72 percent of the respondents, followed by skills training (55.4 percent) and domestic practical skills training courses (39.2 percent).

It was also found that the most common obstacle for women to pursue continuing education was having a busy job.

High training course fees and needing to take care of families and housework were the second and third major limitations according to the findings.

Meanwhile, around 65 percent of the respondents believed that the biggest advantage of participating in continuing education was to enhance their own capacity.

However, at the same time up to nearly 86 percent of the respondents deemed that doing further studies would affect their rest periods, and some 80 percent also said it would increase their pressure.

When asked whether they would consider taking part in any educational courses in the future, a majority of almost 90 percent gave a positive response.

According to AGMM vice-chairwoman Chan Hong at the press conference yesterday, under the current economic climate, to enhance one’s employment opportunity and competitiveness had become an issue acknowledged by most of the women nowadays.

She said that it was necessary for working women to face changes brought by social development in order to adapt to their posts, and the same should be applied on housewives as they might enter the labour force again in the future.

Hence, the vice-chairwoman suggested the government to provide professional skills training courses in collaboration with community organisations so as to explore women’s potential and help them return to work in society.

Ms Chan admitted that traditionally women had been the ones to look after families, the old and the young.

“Since community services are insufficient, the chances for them to participate in social and community activities are being limited, thus forcing women to stay at home and narrowing their visions,” she said.

“The government must have to take the initiative, make long-term women’s policies and provide all forms of assistance and support to related organisations to find out resources for women,” she added.

The respondents in the survey mainly aged from 18 to 64 years old, and most of them had only completed senior high school education.

According to the 2008 statistics, females accounted for 50.9 percent of the Macau population, and the labour force participation rate of women was reported at around 60 percent.

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