Care Work vs. Career: Crisis of Middle Class Working Women

Care Work vs. Career: Crisis of Middle Class Working Women

Md. Mynul Islam (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh) and Gulay Jannat (University of Dhaka, Bangladesh)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3018-3.ch003
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Abstract

Career is indispensable for woman to ensure their decision-making power to boost up their capability through active voice and participation. However, in Bangladesh most of the middle class working women are facing crisis to manage their double work. Keeping this in mind, this study explains how household related care work costs women's career. It reveals, most of the women have to face multiple problems to maintain their care and office work. Even, a good number of working women sacrificed their career to take care of children and family. Regarding these discriminatory social and institutional systems, most of the working women believe that, positive mind-set can bring a change for women to develop their career.
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Statement Of The Problem

From the social definition of women as housewives follows the definition of the men as the breadwinners, the separation between the private sphere of the house, the sphere of production and reproduction and the subordination of the latter under the former (Mies, 2012: 59)

In this regard, Mahtab (2012) stated despite huge investments in time and labor by women, why is there so much discrimination and inequality in terms of women’s economic development? However, this is an appropriate time to explore the behind scenario of impact of care work on women’s formal work and their coping strategies to manage both the care and formal work.

In addition, there is a long debate between care and formal work, which work is perfect for women and how care work affects on working women’s career? Due to our traditional cultural norms and practices, mostly household related works especially cooking, cleaning, and child care are identified as only women’s work (Islam and Jannat, 2016). Therefore, gender division of labor operates discrimination not only in reproductive activities within the household but also in productive and community activities for women to achieve targeted position. Besides, to get the desired position, women have to face unequal hiring standards, unequal opportunities for training, unequal pay for equal work, unequal access to productive resources, segregation and concentration in female sectors and occupations, different physical and mental working conditions, unequal participation in economic decision-making and unequal promotion prospects compared with men (Ostin, 2002).

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