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Findings of survey on time use patterns and women's employment released

     The Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) published today (July 27) the Thematic Household Survey Report No. 56, presenting the findings of a survey on the time use patterns of Hong Kong residents and on women's employment.

     The Labour and Welfare Bureau (LWB) and the Women's Commission (WoC) had tasked the C&SD to conduct the survey from September to December 2013. The target respondents were all persons aged 15 and above (excluding foreign domestic helpers).

     The WoC was established by the Government in 2001 as a high-level central mechanism. The Commission advises the Government on policies and initiatives which are of concern to women and develops a long-term vision and strategy. Members of the WoC are appointed by the Chief Executive. The WoC is chaired by a non-official and comprises another 20 non-official members and three ex-officio members.

     "One of the duties of the WoC is to conduct research and surveys from time to time to gain a better understanding of women's needs and their issues of concern, and give advice on policies relating to women's development," a spokesperson for the LWB said.

     The survey consists of two parts. The first part can help in understanding the time use patterns and allocation for women and men in undertaking paid work, homemaking and social services, and more. The second part of the survey aimed to record women's concerns and needs as they leave or re-join the job market. The objective of the survey is to help the community and the government bureaux/departments understand women's employment and time use patterns on the basis of the statistical data.

     Over 10 000 households were successfully enumerated in the survey and some 26 000 persons participated in it. The major survey findings analysed by sex are given below:

Time use patterns

(a) Women on average spent more time (2.7 hours) on homemaking and home care work, voluntary work and unpaid activities for relatives and friends living apart, more than the level for men (0.8 hour).
(b) Men spent more time on paid work on average per day (4.1 hours) than women (2.8 hours)
(c) More than half of the persons were very satisfied/quite satisfied with their own time allocation. The levels of satisfaction with their own time allocation of women and men are similar.
(d) Women were more proactive in participating in voluntary work. The proportion of women who participated in voluntary work during the 12 months before enumeration (13.5 per cent) was higher than the level for men (9.2 per cent).
(e) The proportion of women interested in taking programmes/training courses to upgrade their educational attainment or enhance their vocational skills (15.1 per cent) was higher than the level for men (12.9 per cent).

Women's employment

(f) Regarding the likelihood of female homemakers taking up a job, out of the 637 500 female homemakers, some 38 300 (6.0 per cent) chose "definitely/very likely" in regard to taking up a full-time or part-time job when there was one. Some 70 000 female homemakers (11.0 per cent) indicated that they might take up a full-time or part-time job.
(g) "Office hours", "salary" and "number of working hours" were the top three factors considered in choosing a job. "Flexible working hours", "job sharing" and "working at home" would raise female homemakers'interest in taking up a job.

     The spokesperson said, "The survey findings indicated that there was still room for releasing the labour potential of women and raising the female labour force participation rate. The survey findings were consistent with the direction of the Steering Committee on Population Policy in encouraging more women to join the labour force."

     He said, "While acknowledging women's contribution to the family and respecting their decision on whether to work or not, the LWB is strengthening the relevant support services, including enhancing child care and after-school care services, promoting family-friendly employment practices, and improving employment support and employee retraining services, so as to remove the barriers for women and create an enabling environment for them to enter the labour market, including working full-time, part-time and work at home."

     The spokesperson reiterated that the WoC hopes the survey findings can provide the Government and the community with the relevant statistical data for reference, to help understand the situation of women in Hong Kong and further promote women's due status, rights and opportunities in all aspects of life.

Survey Report

     The survey report can be downloaded free of charge at the website of the C&SD ( Enquiries about the results of the survey may be directed to the Social Surveys Section (2) of the C&SD (tel: 2887 0592 or email:

Ends/Monday, July 27, 2015
Issued at HKT 16:47


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