傳媒報導

我們的聲音傳播範圍十分有限,所以我們很感謝傳媒朋友對婦女議題的關注,將婦女聲音透過不同的渠道無限擴大,讓她們所關心的政策﹑社區建設﹑婦女友善﹑環境保育等議題得到公眾的關注,推動社會改變,變得更加婦女友善。本部分旨在整合與本會相關的新聞文章及傳媒報道,如有任何新聞版權問題,歡迎與我們聯絡。

傳媒查詢:如對我們的工作、服務、甚至所關注的議題,歡迎致電 2153 3153 或電郵至 media@womencentre.org.hk 與我們聯絡

返回

International Women's Day: financial anxiety a burden, as traditional Hong Kong gender roles blamed for less savings but more worries (只提供英文版本)

  • Recent data and warnings from social workers suggest that Hong Kong women tend to save less but need more money when they reach retirement age
  • Calls made to break away from traditional gender roles, which can keep women from thriving in workforce, as costs and worries mount among those struggling to make ends meet

 

Wu Hongling, a 40-year-old single mother in Hong Kong with two children aged nine and three, struggles to make ends meet with her part-time job in a licensed mahjong venue earning HK$60 (US$8) an hour.

 

She was a full-time employee before giving birth to her second child during the Covid-19 pandemic. But after the young boy was diagnosed with a metabolic disorder and heart disease, Wu needed more flexibility to take care of him.

 

"With two kids, it is almost impossible to save any money. I bought some goldware as savings 10 years ago. It's almost gone now," said Wu, who barely gets by with a monthly income of HK$6,000 to HK$8,000, on top of help from some social welfare agencies and an allowance from her ex-husband.

 

"A retirement plan is for those who have a full-time job. For us, we just get through every day first," she said.

 

Data and warnings from social workers suggested that women in Hong Kong tended to save less but needed more money when they reached retirement age.

 

As women were still bound by traditional roles, they were more likely to quit their jobs or take part-time ones to shoulder caring responsibilities, putting them at higher risk of not being protected by official retirement schemes.

One recent survey of 930 women in Hong Kong aged between 50 and 70 showed that more than 60 per cent of retired women did not have any retirement savings.

 

The survey, conducted by the Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) ahead of International Women's Day on Friday, found that a lack of planning and preparation could lead to increasing financial insecurity when women got older.

 

"Women in general have relatively low income compared with men," said Woo Yuen-ling, service director for the association's employment service and YWCA Movement. "They usually shoulder multiple roles. We noticed that some of them would choose to quit the job when there is a need for them to be carers."

 

"So you will see that women join the workforce and then leave the workforce from time to time – it might affect their savings in the long run as well."

 

The most recent data showed that the median monthly salary for women in the city was HK$15,300 in 2022, 27 per cent less than men.

 

Retirement plans are mainly based on the Mandatory Provident Fund, the city's compulsory pension scheme, although it does not cover domestic work that is often carried out by women.

In 2021, women accounted for 94 per cent of the city's 654,300 full-time family carers, according to data from the Hong Kong Women's Commission.

 

Besides their own spending, female respondents in the YWCA survey also expressed feeling additional stress as they expected the cost of providing care to elderly family members and children to rise.

 

Caregiving responsibilities could also cause many retired women to suffer from various physical and mental problems, the survey found.

 

The life expectancy of women in Hong Kong reached 86.8 years in 2022, compared with 80.7 for men. The difference means that women must save more compared with men, whose life expectancy is six years less.

 

A Fidelity study last year showed that men held on average HK$832,770 in pension funds, whereas women had HK$593,880. It also found that 42 per cent of women thought they had enough savings as they would like for retirement, compared with 49 per cent of men.

 

The labour force participation rate was 52.9 per cent for women and 64.7 per cent for men, according to the 2022 data from the Census and Statistics Department.

 

While the participation rates for the two genders remained similar for the age group younger than 30 years old, there was a sudden drop for women in the age bracket of 30 to 35. The rate for men in that age group, however, remained steady.

 

Among those who are not looking for jobs, 35 per cent of women cited household duties as the reason in 2022, compared with only 4 per cent of men, according to the most recent census data.

 

"Employers should try to think about how to provide more incentives or opportunities for women to re-enter the workforce even after the retirement age," Woo said.

 

Sisi Liu Pui-shan, director of the Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres, said women could more easily opt to join the workforce if the city broke away from stereotypes and had more equal sharing of household duties.

 

"Legislating mandatory family friendly measures for all employees, like parental leave, not only can guarantee their time off to take care of their families, but also it can create a culture that housework is everyone's business instead of just women's," she said.

 

Single mum Wu said she would consider going back to full-time work after her son began attending primary school. She said she was still positive about the future since "things have already hit rock bottom".

 

"At least I have an income now and I can watch my children grow up," she said.