Reconciling Work with Family: Considerations of Time. Rhoda Reddock The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago. Organisation of the Presentation. Introduction – The Current Context of Social Life in the Caribbean
The University of the West Indies,
St. Augustine Campus,
Trinidad and Tobago
“The Caribbean is at a critical juncture of its history and development. The economic and social challenges facing the region are daunting to say the least. The region faces a future without any guarantees.
Reconciling Work with Family
“to produce and maintain statistics relative to the counting of unremunerated work and to provide a mechanism for quantifying and recording the monetary value of such work
“the typical working day for women ranged from 14-18 hours, with little help from anyone, often with minimal and unreliable technology, limited access to amenities and with very little leisure or free time for themselves”
Reconciling Work and Family: Issues and Policies in Trinidad and Tobago, by Rhoda Reddock and Yvonne Bobb-Smith, ILO Conditions of Work and Employment Series, No. 18, 2008.
“households below the poverty line tend to be larger and headed by females who are often single mothers with dependent children, or contain at least one elderly person living alone or in an extended family setting sometimes having responsibility for the entire household”.
22% of all households had at least one older person (65 years and older). Of these, 42% were extended family households while 21% comprised persons living alone.
Difficulty in continuing breastfeeding after returning to work
“I returned to work when my son was 3½ months old. I visit his daycare every working day to breastfeed him and to express milk. How do I do it? My day goes like this: I breastfeed him at about 7:00 am before we leave home. I drop my (two) older children to school and then leave my baby in St James. I begin my lunch hour at 11:00 am and drive for 20 minutes from downtown, Port of Spain (capital) to St James (suburbs). When I arrive there, he is usually hungry and looking out for me, so I breastfeed him immediately… I eat the lunch I have brought with me and drive back to work, getting there by 12:30 pm” (Helen Ross, t.i.b.sNEWS April//June 2004: 1-2).
Mrs C. leaves South Trinidad for her job in Port of Spain at 5:15 am arriving at work at 6:00 am.
Her seven year old son travels to school a few miles away in a carpool. When his father is not at work, he takes him to school.
She leaves work between 4:00 and 5:00 pm and arrives home between 6:30 and 8:00 pm in the evening.
She notes that quality time with her son on a daily basis is reduced to merely an hour or less, as she sees him go to bed, and perhaps reads to him.
Mrs. K has developed a network of resources... Her day begins at 5:00. Because of the flexible time in her new job, which she chose because it helps with her plan, she can fully dress and groom her daughters for school, and give them packed lunch kits before a female taxi driver transports them to the babysitter. They remain there approximately an hour, before the driver takes them to school. They have the reverse trip in the afternoon, when they remain at the babysitter’s until she is on her way home from work, between 16:00 to 18:00, depending on the structure of her day
Sexual Division of Labour
Work hours and school hours
Widows and Orphans fund
Employee assistance programmes
Homework centres and after school Care
Disability Assistance Grants
School Nutrition programmes
Early Childhood Education Centre - State
Selected Recommendations Security