women s employment and child care and nutrition in urban areas examples from ghana and guatemala
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Women’s Employment and Child Care and Nutrition in Urban Areas: Examples from Ghana and Guatemala. Marie T. Ruel Multi-country Program on Urban Challenges to Food and Nutrition Security IFPRI. Urban Women. Survival, Growth, and Development.

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women s employment and child care and nutrition in urban areas examples from ghana and guatemala

Women’s Employment and Child Care and Nutrition in Urban Areas: Examples from Ghana and Guatemala

Marie T. Ruel

Multi-country Program on Urban Challenges to Food and Nutrition Security

IFPRI

slide3

Survival, Growth,

and Development

Dietary Intake Health

Household Food

Security

Care For Children

and Women

Health Services

Healthy Environment

Education

Resources and control

Human, Economic & Organizational

Political and Ideological Superstructure

Economic Structure

Potential Resources

slide4

Child survival

Growth

Development

Diet

Health

Caregiving behaviors

Care for women

Feeding/breast-feeding

Psychosocial care

Cognitive stimulation

Hygiene practices

Home health practices

Food preparation and storage

HH food

security

Healthy

environment

Health

resources

Clean water

Sanitation

Health care avail.

Safe environment

Food/economic

Resources

Food production

Income

Labor

Land assets

Maternal resources for care

Knowledge/beliefs/education

Health/nutritional status

Control over resources

Workload/time/social support

objective
Objective
  • Use data from 2 case studies (Accra and Guatemala city), examine:
    • Livelihoods and vulnerability of women in urban areas (working women and women head of households)
    • Constraints faced by working women in provision of child care and in protecting their children from malnutrition
    • Patterns of women’s employment and child care use
data used
Data used
  • Accra case study of urban livelihoods, poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition (1997)
    • Participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) methods
    • Representative quantitative survey (n=560)
    • Observational study of sub-sample (n=22)
  • Guatemala case study (1998-99):
    • Evaluation of Government Sponsored Community Day Care Program (operational and impact evaluations)
    • Random sample of hh with children < 7 years of age in the zone where evaluation took place
the accra case study
The Accra Case Study
  • Participatory Rapid Appraisals
  • Quantitative representative household survey (n=560)
  • Observational positive deviance study (n=22)
the questions
The Questions
  • Households headed by women (33%): Are they more vulnerable to poverty and food insecurity?
  • Working women (75%):
    • How different are they from non-working women?
    • Does their work affect their child care practices?
    • Does this in turn increases their children’s nutritional vulnerability?
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Livelihood strategies for both men and women in Accra are predominantly labor based, but sources and levels of income vary
  • There are important differences in expenditure patterns, women more likely to allocate higher % of their budget to food and health
  • Despite lower income, female-hhh more likely to have adequate calorie adequacy, but at what cost? (higher food budget shares increases their vulnerability to shocks)
women s work and child care and nutrition in accra
Women’s work and child care and nutrition in Accra
  • 55% of mothers with children < 3 years of age were working full time, 9.5% part time
  • Mothers worked across socioeconomic status levels, education levels, ethnic groups, head of householdship, etc.
early return to work after delivery source of vulnerability
Early return to work after delivery: source of vulnerability?
  • PRA studies:

“When I have to leave my child (to go back to work), my stomach burns me, but I have to work to earn money. Caring for your child is important, but you also have to earn money to provide for your child”

early return to work after delivery source of vulnerability18
Early return to work after delivery: source of vulnerability?
  • Observational study:

Mothers of positive deviant children were much less likely to be working when child was < 12 mo of age and still when child was 20-34 mo

(Note that children were matched on age)

early return to work after delivery source of vulnerability19
Early return to work after delivery: source of vulnerability?
  • Quantitative survey (sample < 12 mo)
    • Mothers who returned to work early were not different in any personal or socioeconomic characteristics or financial help from father (same expenditure level suggests they needed to work)
    • Few care practices were different (only BF less because of work)
    • Nutritional status was not associated with maternal work in multivariate analysis
bottom line
Bottom Line
  • Maternal employment did not have a marked negative effect on child care practices or nutritional status
  • This is largely due to the fact that mothers adapt their work patterns to the special caring needs of their children
  • This may increase their vulnerability and that of their children and family (taking child to work; strapping them on their back)
guatemala case study
Guatemala Case Study
  • Evaluation of Program: Hogares Comunitarios (260 pairs: matched beneficiary and controls). Impact on:
    • Women’s work patterns
    • Children’s diet
    • Household expenditure patterns
    • Older siblings’ schooling
  • Random sample of households with children < 7 years of age in area (n=1363)
bottom line31
Bottom Line
  • Women in Guatemala use a variety of child care arrangements, although a large proportion take the child along
  • Only small proportion benefited from HC program, the cheapest alternative
  • Beneficiaries are more likely to be younger, single, work in factories, receive work benefits; no difference in total earnings, hrs worked, earnings/hour
  • Program seems to be reaching high risk group and filling an important gap
overall conclusions
Overall Conclusions
  • Urban areas of Ghana and Guatemala do host a high proportion of female-headed households and working women
  • Women in both countries were clearly facing the challenges posed by their dual role as income-earners and principal caretakers
  • In Accra mothers seemed particularly successful at achieving food security and at maintaining good care practices and nutrition while working, but this may have increased their vulnerability
  • In Guatemala the HC program seems to respond to a great need for alternative childcare, but current coverage is extremely low.
programmatic implications
Programmatic Implications
  • Relative to employment and child care, urban women need support in:
    • Reliable, safe, flexible, affordable child care arrangements (especially single mothers)
    • Help with care of very young infants
    • Facilities at the work place to permit optimal child feeding practices (especially for < 6 mo)
    • Targeted nutrition and child care education programs
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