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Designated private spaces for breastfeeding, playgrounds or leisure rooms for families. Orange Moldova, Panilino, Premier Energy Distribution and Asena Textil are four Moldovan companies that will set up family-friendly spaces at work in the coming months. Each initiative is co-funded by UNFPA with USD 5,000 and companies are expected to match this contribution. Co-funding certificates were awarded to companies at the ‘Launch Ceremony for Family-Friendly Workplace Initiatives’ held today, 27 April.


Unpaid care work is an exclusive responsibility for the majority of Moldovan women, and the situation has worsened as a result of the pandemic, according to the Generations and Gender Survey. The Government, private sector and foreign partners have joined their efforts to expand the opportunities for women and men, so that couples have the desired number of children and achieve their career aspirations.


‘The Moldovan private sector joins the global movement of family-friendly workplace policies. We are positive that the private companies engaging in this partnership, by setting up spaces for childcare, play and breastfeeding, and by applying best human resource practices, will help Moldovan families achieve their reproductive and professional aspirations,’ said UNFPA Resident Representative Nigina Abaszada.


Attending the event, Felicia Bechtold, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, reiterated the Government's commitment to promoting family-friendly policies: ‘A joint effort by Government and businesses can foster employment of women, increase men's participation in domestic and caring tasks, and in the long term - narrow the gap between the number of children they want and the number they have.’


Project Manager of the Austrian Development Agency, Lina Acălugăriței, underlined the donors’ openness to support and further expand family-friendly initiatives at work, listing the long-term benefits for employers, employees and the society, with a positive impact on GDP growth.


‘We hope that more private companies in Moldova will join this initiative and that these good practices will be taken up and expanded’, said Natalia Calenic, Deputy President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UNFPA implementing partner.

The four companies plan to set up dedicated spaces for families with children in the coming months. For instance, Orange Moldova wants to improve the working conditions for its more than 1500 employees, half of whom are women, by submitting the project ‘Setting up nursing and breastfeeding spaces in the Chisinau offices’:
‘We joined this project to share our experience with other companies and to motivate each other for a more efficient implementation of family-friendly workplace policies, supporting both the business and people who are engaged in this business’, says Elvira Neamțu, Human Resources Director, Orange Moldova.


Asena Textil, a company from ATU Gagauzia, will match the USD 5000 thousand to build an outdoor playground for employees in the village of Congaz: We will build a playground for children, where we will organize joint activities for parents and children’, said Zinaida Cuboglo, Head of Human Resources Department at Asena Textil.


‘As part of this project, we will set up a space for interactive activities for parents and children, so that employees on childcare leave can create connections and get to know each other better,’ said Lilia Damaschin, representative of Premier Energy.


‘Given that about 70% of our company's employees are women, we have decided to set up a space for child care and play to encourage mothers to return to work earlier’, said Liliana Adam, Panilino.


In addition, at the event UNFPA signed a Cooperation Agreement with Linella (Moldretail Group), which expands the list of family-friendly champion companies for its 1500 employees: ‘Our people are the success of our company, because an employee who is happy at home is also more productive at work. Thank you for the opportunity to create a friendlier environment for the company's employees’, said Mariana Moiseev, Financial Director of Linella (Moldretail Group).


The initiatives are to be launched this autumn and will benefit around 5,000,000 employees from all champion companies, 65% of whom are 19-39 year olds.

This initiative is part of UNFPA's Demographic Resilience Programme, which aims to create an enabling environment for people of reproductive age to have the desired number of children, including with the help of the private sector, which has the role of creating proper working conditions for parents to balance their family and work life.


Expanding Choices: Gender-Responsive Family Policies for the Private Sector in the Western Balkans and Moldova Project is implemented by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), with the support of the Austrian Development Agency, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Moldova.