Working Mothers Act in Family and Workplace
Subject: Social Science | Topics: ,


“Sometimes I lone to see the moon. But there is no time. I site on the veranda, but I am not concentrating on the moon, so what will I do in the office, for my Children.

The work that human beings do falls generally into four categories: Production, reproduction, status enhancement, morale building. Although both men and women do all these kinds of workwomen’s work in these spheres feels and looks quite distinct from men’s work. Throughout the ages women home lined in the “men’s world” saturated by male dominating ideology. Only in recent times there has been a growing awareness among working women of many societies. “Nearly there can be no sustainable human development, nor any successful population program. Without the full and equal participation of women” (Boutora-Boutora ghali, 1995).

Women have always worked to produce goods and services for themselves and their families. In almost every society this work has included the processing and preparation of food and of clothing, household care and repair, and similar housekeeping tasks. In most societies its also has included agricultural and selecting tasks, in which some of the goods to be consumed in the family were produced directly by women. In many other societies, it’s included production of items either in this household or in factories and offices, which were sold or exchanged for salary or wages.

Though women constitute half (48.5%) of the total population of Bangladesh, a great majority of them are still left out from the mainstream development of activities. But the situation is not static as in the midst of all adversities Bangladeshi women are marching towards their liberty. Significant changes have been taken place over the years and women have emerged as an important constituency globally.

Bangladeshi women contribute substantially to their households and to the country’s economy. The majority of working women are primarily involved in the informal sector of the economy. Within the formal sector, a large number of women work in export-oriented industries (e.g. garments). The source of 70 percent of Bangladesh’s foreign exchange. A significant number of women also work as teachers, lawyers, journalists, government employees, and for non-government organizations (NGOs). Gradually the condition of the women is changing significantly as they are now getting higher education and joining the workforce.

A mother is a woman as she is related to her Child or Children; or a female parent of a Child. This research is about the matters of urban middle class family who are working in remunerative occupations. Where the housewife, matters have to stay at home only, the working mothers have two clusters of duties, household or family and job place or workplace, while traditionally have been considered full time occupation. In the Dhaka city of Bangladesh, a significant number of matters work as working of autonomous body, government employees and for non-government employees. Working matters are thus doubly stigmatized by society, which casts than both as matters and as employees.

In this context, it would be interesting to know who these matters are, what is their occupations, why they work and where they work, how they feel about their work, their condition in family and workplace, can they balance in acting and performing role and duties in the household and in workplace or can’t they, can they overcome their limitations and problems, their position in family and society, at last their daily life and life style.

Conceptualizing and Contextualizing Gender Disparities:

 Human nature always exists in a historical and social context and is mediated by it. Hence, people have long been precious paid with what it means to be male and what it means to be female. Gender is a system of meanings related to power and status. It operates at individual, interactional and cultural levels to structures people’s lines. The word ‘act’ which means activities, role, performance, and duties is determined by net of working or culture. To know the act of working mother we need to look at the social relations of gender or relations of power between women and men. The unequal work distribution between man and women as well as fathers and mothers is changes from time to time, culture to culture, even family to family.

The origin of the oppression of women and patriarchy debates:

Women are subordinate to men in society, in the sense that they hold less prominent positions. Women do not choose inferiority, but rather born into as situation, which complex her to it. Like lengths, behavior assumes that human beings originally lines in communities and property as land and tools in common and inheritance passed down on the mother’s sides.

 In the second sex, Beauvoir divides early human history into three periods: the nomadic, primetime culmination and the agricultural. When there was no property, no law, there was no institutionalized oppression of women. The beginnings of institutions appeared in the form of shared property, i.e., cultivated land. With the coming of the Bronze sky men learn to under stand their role in the reproductive process and matrilineality was replaced by patrilineality took over the foreground and maternity was marginalized. The oppression of women is conceptualized as an ideological reflection of the origin of private property, and of changes on the forces and means of production.

In “The origin of the family, private property, and the state” by (1972, 1884) Tried rich Engel’s is a nineteenth century text, which drowns on the anthropological studies of Lenies Henry Morgan, in an attempts to link the history of the family to the development of primate property and the rise of the state. Engel argued that the growth of male owned private property and the development family life have been identified as crucial, to an understanding of women’s subordination. Until the 1980 many theorists sought to locate the cause of women’s subordination in the family, but it is now widely recognized that women’s position within families is itself something, which needs to be explained in terms of wider social processes and structures (Walby 1986, 1990, P.177).

In Bangladeshi society considers motherhood the most desirable role for the women and family responsibilities are more important for women than personal careers. It is an accepted norm that a husband needs his wife mainly to perform the domestic roles and satisfy his wishes, while a wife needs a husband as her provider in all respects. Only when a woman performs her socially designated roles efficiently than she will be ensured a position of some dignity within the family. In the west, women’s household activities are recognized as labor and a considerable part of Children’s socialization and care is carried by the state. But in Bangladesh a working mother has to perform all her domestics and carrying the burden of a “double day.”

 In “Jhagrapur” Arena and Non Burden describe the subordination of women in a family. Men exploit women in double ways – economically and socially. Actually women’s work is an important part of total production system. In family work they are not rewarded but if she work outside the home then they give importance. They are notes evaluated in property right. Socially they are exploited by purdah system in religion, marriage system and sexually abused. As if women are born only for household work and reproduction.

One of the significant roles of feminist theory is patriarchy debate, which tried to account for women’s subordination in society. This has been important in terms of producing some indications of how gender inequality could be challenged and trans formed politically.

For many feminists, however, the term patriarchy has provided an important concept for the theorization of how and why women are oppressed (Millet, 1970; Daly, 1978; Hartman, 1979). The term “Patriarchy” has been used within post 1960s feminism to refer to the systematic organization of male supremacy and female subordination. Moreover, the concept of patriarchy has not been used within feminist theory is any simple or unified way, but rather there are numerous definitions of the term.

Masculinity & feminity: Cultural construction and reconstruction

          Contemporary anthropologists, who explore the position of women, whether in there own or another society, are inevitably drawn into debate concerning the origins and universality of women’s subordination. An interest in the hierarchical relations between men and women has been a feature of the discipline of anthropology since its earliest days.

……….But this is fist

As are the roots of earth and base of all; Man for the fields and women for the hearth; Man for the sword and for the needs she; Man with the head and women with the heart; Man to command and women to obey; All else confusion……………

…………………. Jenny son, “The Princess”

Unlike Jenny son Ann Oakley, among the first few feminist scholars to use the concept ‘Gender’ is a matter of culture, it refers to the social classification of man and women into ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. That people are male or female can usually be judged by referring to biological evidence. But masculine or feminine cannot be judged in the same way: the criteria are cultural differing with time and place. In all cultures, including ours, being a man or a woman is not limited to one’s biological sea. Being a man means that one is likely to be ‘masculine’, and being a woman means that one is likely to be ‘feminine’. Boys who define masculinity as the opposite of feminity grow into men who devalue women and believe in the superiority of whatever qualities they define as masculine. There are certain culturally define expectations of the traits and behaviors of makes and females. The biological factor of sex (maleness or femaleness) is used to construct a social category of a gender (masculinity or feminity). The traits, which associated with men-masculinity, and the traits associated which associated with women feminity. Masculinity and feminity depends on gender roles. While the specific content of gender roles in defined differently in every culture, ‘gender roles’ usually contain certain general characteristics. These characteristics include certain personality traits (women are nurturant and dependent; man are assertive and independent); ‘social roles’ (man are fathers and breadwinners; women are wines and mothers), and ‘social positions’ or occupations (man are solders and politicians; women are nurses and volunteers) (Mary Richmond, 1992:5).

The terms ‘sex roles’ and ‘gender roles’; there are important differences between them. The term ‘sex roles’ has come to mean behaviors determined by biological sex, such as menstruation, erection and seminal ejaculation. The term ‘gender roles’ has come to mean entirely socially created expectations of masculine and feminine behavior. These expectations are initiated are perpetuated by the institutions and natures of a particular society.

Construction of women’s image:

 A society turns sales and males and females into masculine and feminizes being; it is an ongoing process within families and societies. A newborn body is net only immediately classified by sex, it is also assigned a gender. Girls grow up with a sense of similarity to and continuity with their mother and a sense of connection to others learn the more difficult lesson that their gender-identify is not female, or not mother. A culture thought than how they are addressed, handled, treated and clothed and through this regulation, taught how they should behave to be part of the society they are born into. This is called socialization. The specifics process of socialization, which teaches Children their gender sales, is also called gendering. Parents are the earliest and probably the major influence in the gender role socialization of young Children. Every suture has its ways of valuing girls and boys and assigning them different roles, responses. Beau air depicts not only how human beings set themselves up as subjects historically, but also how this process takes place in the life of the individual. When power in man’s hands, then he is and has always been the ‘defining subject’, while women define on the other.

Beavoir in her volume 2 of the second sex depicts how, from birth, little girls are brought up to become women, the other, objects. Women are womanly or femine because of an inherent essence, she depicts how feminity is shaped and how woman as object is reproduced. Boys are encouraged to set themselves up as subjects, while girls are taught to accept themselves no object to see their being for others as their basic dominions (P-180).

She stresses that while boys are taught and encouraged to be proud of their bodies and their sexual organs, girls’ physiology and sexual organs are regarded as shameful and laden with taboos. Puberty in the time when a girl realizes what awaits her in terms of her future as a woman. Thus, gradually patriarchal society is developed and man set himself up no the absolute subject and incorporate the subordination of women into the loan and customs of society.

In Bangladesh, a girls Children her parents would prepare her for her inevitable marriage, for she was “source else’s property”, a temporary resident in her parent’s house and destined to time elsewhere. She would learn to be circumspect in how she dressed, taught to respect her seniors and trained to do housework.

Jitka Kotalova in her book “Belonging to others” describe that how Bangladeshi society is structured through at least two distinct but overlapping systems: one based one agnatic linearity (lineal succession age seniority of males); the other on exchange of women in marriages by which the continuity of patrilines is secured. In Bangladesh, the marriage, (as the principal form of gender relatedness and the mark of adulthood i.e. completeness), means spatial and social continuity for a man but transformation for a woman. Her experience of social structure leads her into an ambiguous pointer sense of belonging is divided between fathers and husband’s home. As a result she does not quite belong to either the father’s or the husband’s patricians.

Feminist Perspective and Gender Ideologies:

The changing nature of ‘family’ is the subject of anthropology. It is the way in which familial relations shape women access to work and other resources, and also play a key role in producing and maintaining gender ideologies. It is important fact that the problem of gender relations through a consideration of what women and men do, rather than through an analysis of the symbolic valuations given to women and men in society. Certain dualities have come to be defined as male or female when they need not necessarily be either. For example:

  • Body – Mind
  • Nature – Culture
  • Emotion – Reason
  • Object – Subject
  • Pollution – Purity
  • Private – Public

          With those, on the lift being ‘female’ and the ones on the right, ‘male’. Not only have the two been ranged as polar opposite a hierarchy has been created between them. According to sherry ortner women are identified, or symbolically associated with ‘nature’ while men are associated with culture. The differences between men and women can be conceptualized as a set of apposed pairs, which denotes with other sets of oppositions. Thus men may be associated with ‘up’, ‘right’, ‘high’, ‘culture’, ‘left’, ‘low’, nature and ‘weakness’. These associations are not inherent in the biological or social nature of the sexes, but are cultural constructs, which are powerfully reinforced by the social activities, which both defines and are defined by them. Cultural representations of the sexes clearly have a determining influence on the position of women in society.

One of the features of gender symbolism, which has attracted a great deal of attraction, is the concept of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’. Behavioral taboos are restrictions, like those that many women experience after Childbirth and during menstruation, shoes and thus structure their social world.

  The ‘domestic’ versus ‘public’ model has given by Michelle Rosaldo, in which she made claims regarding its universal applicability. The categories ‘domestic’ and ‘public’ stand in a hierarchical relationship to each other. Rosaldo defines ‘domestic’ as those institutions and activities organized around mother Child, groups, while ‘public’ refers to activities, institutions and forma of association that link, rank, organize or subsume particular mother Child groups (Rosaldo, 1974:23). The prevailing ideology of the day was that men were to govern society and women would govern the home. The idea ‘domestic’ domain is most natural and constructed by society. It linked to ides about marriage, family, the home, Children and work.

Feminists are concern themselves with the suppressive socio economic gender problems and situations. It is now a major object of study for a growing number of scholars in the academic word. “Feminism” is defined in the oxford English dictionary as advocacy of the rights of women dated from the mid mine teen century in Europe and belief in the principle that women should have the some rights and opportunities (legal, political, social and economic, etc.) as men. The term, Feminism, seems to be multi-vocal. It implies the identification of women’s systematically oppressed, the belief that gender relations are neither inscribed in natural differences between the sexes, nor immutable, but a political action to change the situation.

Feminism-have come to be understood as on enormously useful critical tool for research, as well as on agenda for political and social change. Feminism is simply about understanding and challenging gender inequalities in the social world. For Maguire (1987:79) ‘feminism is (a) a belief that women universally face some form of oppression or exploitation; (b) a commitment to uncover and understand what causes and sustained oppression in all its forms, and (c) a commitment to work individually and collectively in everyday life to end all forms of oppression. The term feminism implies that there is one feminism when, in fact, there are multiple feminisms. There are four main types of feminisms that have been articulated in academic discourses: liberal feminism.

Socialist feminism, radical feminism and organism liberal feminist is one who advocates such reforms as legal equality between the sexes, equal pay for equal work, and equal employment opportunities, but who denies that complete equality requires radical alternations in basic social institutions (e.g. the capitalist economic system, the biological family, management marriage, biological motherhood) (Warren cited in kramarae and Treichler 1985: 280). This perspective has been especially useful in research on such topics as gender socialization and sex discrimination in employment

This perspective, sometimes called cultural feminism, has been useful in understanding the importance of unpaid work contributed to society by women, such as Childcare. It is based on the belief that the economic and class structure of our society is inherently problematic, which leads to multiple forms of oppression.

 Kamla Bhasin and Night said khan in the Feminism and its relevance in South Asia (2004) has stated that Feminists are definitely not against women having Children, but we do not consider motherhood to be every women’s dusting, nor do we equate womanhood with motherhood.

We believe that every woman should have the choice to have or not have children. At present such a choice does not exist legally, socially or psychologically, in many of our countries. Motherhood does not mean physically giving birth to a child.

It means looking after, nurturing and caring for another human being. It means helping another person develop physically, emotionally and mentally. Such mothering can be done by anyone, not necessarily by the women who give birth. There are many women who cannot bear Children but make excellent mothers. On the other hand, there are those who bear numerous. Children but are simply bead, then violent, mothers.

Most women, however, see motherhood as their destiny, but this is due both to the lack of alternatives and to a glorification of motherhood. We women do not have special limbs to take after Children, nor do we have special glands, which produce lone and care.

  • If a women can cook
  • so can a man
  • because
  • She doesn’t cook with her womb!

 If the world really considered mother hood, sacrifice, and living and caring for others to be the most noble of activities (if that is what you got Nobel prizes for) men would not have allowed women to monopolies it.

For all their praise motherhood, men are averse of practicing it them selves.

In our opinion one of the worst things patriarchy has done of the worst things patriarchy has done has been to create unnecessary dualities between women and men, nature and culture, emotional and rational. Patriarchy and capitalism deny men the opportunity to nurture and care for Children, with the result that most men become hard, harsh, insensitive and uncaring.

Many feminists believe that everyone can and should be gentle and strong, nurturing/giving and assertive, emotional and rational. Both men and women should have the so-called feminine and masculine qualities and responsibilities.

Motherhood: Meaning and Ideologies:

          Meanings, practices and ideologies of motherhood are of course, inter linked in which motherhood in socially constructed in the 1990s and how this interests with the reality of mothering as the day to day management of Childrearing.


          The word motherhood emerged as a concept in Victorian items when its was reified as being motherliness, of mothering (Dally, 1982). Motherhood is now usually considered to be an essential tasks or stage of women’s development as well as a crucial part of their identity, after from childhood (Briksted Breen, 1986; Rich, 1977). In addition to establishing women’s credentials as women, it also provides women with an occupational and structural identity because it takes a great deal of women’s time and energy and can be a substitute for involvement in other activities such as employment (Trebilcat, 1984). Analyses of the situations in which motherhood is not considered appropriate throws light on ideas which, because they are seen as normal and natural, are rarely articulated. How motherhood is understood and hence how women view themselves is very much part of the historical period and ideological circumstances in which ideas develop. It is, for example, now relatively commonplace for young women to express dissatisfaction with the institution of marriage (which is socially constructed as a precursor of motherhood).


 “Mothering” refers to the daily management of children’s lives and the daily care provided for them. Incorporated within the term “mothering” is the intensity and emotional closeness of the idealized mother – child relationship as well as nations of mothers being responsible for the fostering of good child development. The use of the word “motherhood” in the title does not preclude on examination of “mothering”. The intuition of motherhood, explored here through meanings and ideologies, is inextricably linked with the experiences of mothering, which is explored here through practices.

Ideological construction related to working mother:

 The dominant ideologies of motherhood and employment are leased on the assumption of gendered divisions of labour. Hence, the ideal mother is socially constructed as one who does not work outside the home, or whose paid work is restricted. While the dominant beliefs surrounding employment are based on traditionally male natures and tend to preclude the opportunity for substantial involvement in childcare. Cultural directives prescribe that women should become mothers and subsequently reduce their involvement in paid work, or more recently, that women can fulfill all the demands of fulltime exclusive and fulltime paid work, without modifying the demands of either. In contracts, the patterns of work and level of commitment prescribed for the ideal employee are such that they exclude those who have caring responsibilities. (Eugan Lewis, 1994, P.195).

The ideal mother and the ideal worker:

The experience of motherhood, and of employment, are affected and constrained by nations of the ideal mother and ideal employee. The dominant social construction of the ideal mother conforms to what has been termed the motherhood mandate (Ruses, 1976). This is an unwritten, but powerful rule that all women should have children and be good mothers and that this does not preclude employment, but the ‘ideal’ mother does not work outside the home when her children are very young, nor does she ever allow paid work to take precedence over mothering. By definition then, employed mothers, especially those who are employed full time or who are highly committed to their career, deviate from the socially constructed ideal. The widely held belief in the importance of a mother who is available for childcare on a fulltime basis has resulted in the blaming of employed matters for problems of child development, delinquency, marital breakdown and the break down of the traditional nuclear family.

The term ‘working mother’ (with its implications that childcare is not work) has often been used as a pejorative term, to imply neglect of maternal duties. Such ideas have entered popular consciousness to become a part of a familiar discourse which has a profound impact on mothers (Brannen and Mass, 1990; Levies and cooper, 1989).

Political policies reinforce the nation that motherhood and employments are incompatible. For instance, the lack of adequate, affordable childcare, which excludes many mothers from the workforce, has ensured that in Britain mothers of young children who are in full time employment are in a small minority (Martin and Roberts, 1984). Thus they appear to deviate from the norm as well as the ideal, although in facts most mothers are employed in some caps city before their children are 16.

Just as dominant ideology assigns women to the family domain, it assigns men to the public sphere of paid work. Hence the labour market is dominated by men and by patriarchal values, the ideal worker being construed as someone who works full time and continuously from the completion of full time education unit retirement and does not allow family commitments to interfere with work (Plack, 1977). By definition, the employed mother with at least one break from employment for childbearing does not fit the schema of the ideal worker. Women who attempt to fulfill social expectations of motherhood by modifying the male defined pattern of continuous, full time employment are then blamed for their lack of commitment to work. Employed mothers are thus doubly stigmatized by social definitions which cost them as deviant both as mothers and as employees.

Recently a competing cultural directive of motherhood has emerged. This states that women, particularly if they are middle class, intelligent, and educated, should not bury their heads in domesticity (Jahnzon and Johnzon, 1980). This is reflected by images, perpetuated by the media, of the supermather who excels in her career, without making any concession to motherhood, whilst doing all the things good mothers are expected to do. Clearly this image is as apprising as the ideology of the stay at home mother, because it implies that women can comply with the cultural prescriptions of a good mother and a good worker, without modifying the demands of either.

Historical and political context:

The constructions of the good mother and the employed mother may be receive wisdom, but they represent a ‘knowledge’ which is produced within specifies historical and political conditions. Since industrialization, paid work has come to be organized around the needs of men, with the assumption that they are not involved in domestic activities. Employment and family obligation are constructed as independent rather than interdependent and employers are absolved from the need to consider workers domestic lines and responsibilities.

Currently, however, there is increased interest in the full time employment of mothers. This is not the consequence of egalitarian or emancipatory values, but because women are needed in the workforce. Employers and government anticipated for the 1990s as a result of the demographic down turn in the number of school learners. Suddenly industry is interested in childcare initiations and flexible working hours to enable mothers of young children to remain in employment. Thus the rhetoric’s concerning employed mothers conveniently shifts to take account of market forces. In spite of this, the belief that the mother’s place is in the home with her children remains strong. Media reports of childcare initiations, to attract more women into employment are invariably followed by numerous impassioned pleas for society to consider the well being of Children. The ambivalence of the British government is apparent from its encouragement of industry to introduce childcare facilities, whilst failing to fund state childcare, or to implement policies of parental or family leave.

The social construction of employed mothers is also produced by political and social factors. Whereas capitalist societies look to private initiatives to provide childcare if and when mothers are needed in the workforce, a very different ideology pervades socialist countries. In Eastern Europe mother have not only been enabled, but also expected to be economically active, and child care has been made widely available and provided by the state. Employed mothers are the norm in these countries, but they nevertheless remain the primary parent, so that the expectation that they should be in full time employment has an overloading rather than emancipating effect (Rueschemer, 1981). Other states, notably the Scandinavian countries, are characterized by an ideology-which constructs mothers and fathers as being equally responsible for childcare. Parents benefit from widely available, state provided childcare as well as legislation enabling mothers or fathers to take become from employment to care for a very young or a sick child. Here again, employed mothers are the norm. The social construction of employed mothers thus varies over time and across cultures, although mothers tend to be expected to take on the major responsibility for childcare in most countries regardless of the amount of full time daycare available.

Objective of the Research:

Women who have once considered as only child producing and childcare and also house keeping and family maintaining tasks, none gradually grow up a resolution against all of these ideas and customs. These change mostly occurred in the urban area in the last few years of the last nineteenth and first of twentieth century. Several issues have been identified for this study. The issues are mainly related to the mothers of middle class family who are working in different occupations and have little children such as four months to fifteen years (as WHO, UN publications).

The broad objective of this research is to understand the act, role, responsibility, maintenance of working mothers both in the family and workplace according to the ideology of patriarchal society and gender disparities.

The specific objectives as follows:

  1. So know about working mothers age, number of children level of education occupations, income, expenditure, liking and disliking etc.
  2. So know the multidimensional activities and responsibilities performed by working mothers at household level.
  3. So know the system of childcare arrangement (in home or day care centers) of working mothers during working time.
  4. So know the act of working mothers at workplace level and facing workload, work related stress.
  5. So examine the effects of works of mother on the child, mother, power, power and division of labour in the family, position in society.
  6. So assess the decision-making role of working mothers in family as well as in the workplace.
  7. So identify the problems and possibilities of working mothers.

Scope and importance of the research:

“Intentional data shown that women’s labour force participation dramatically around the world in the past decades. Women in many of the workplace and they can be found in all professions. (Naila Kabir, January, 2004).

Although studies on women that were conducted in the past in Dhaka City are important for bringing to the fore front women’s issues, they somewhat lock the analysis essential for under standing working mothers changed situation. Monestly speaking, the situation of working mother is dynamic, with constant change and shifts, the study of which requires up to date and first hand data.

Working mother is a popular subject of conversation and of study. Most people have been mothered at some time, and whether that experience has been good or bad, relationships with mothers usually generate strong feelings for much of the life course. There have been substantial changes in women’s lives over the past fifty years. Women now have fewer children and participate in the employment market more they did. It is not surprising, therefore, that working mother has provided a popular focus for a variety of writers and researches.

Research about set of working mother can be seen in two aspects:

Theoretical aspects:

  1. New information will come out from this anthropological study about the act of working mothers and this will encourage the anthropologists in research about it in future.
  2. Economic sufficiency is the precondition of women development. So, anthropological study in this matter is very essential.
  3. Anthropology discusses the comparative study of the different societies of the world. So, this anthropological study about the act of working mothers in the family and workplace in the Dhaka city of Bangladesh can be compared with the situation of the women in other countries.
  4. Above all, positively working mother’s activities and changing position in Bangladesh has become a major issue for a balanced development of the country. So, anthropological study in this matter could be benefited for the students of anthropological.

Practical aspects:

  1. Half of our population is women. But they are oppressed and tortured in many ways from previous time. They are face injustice, at every step. But in presents time they are more conscious about their rights and privileges.
  2. In urban, mothers are significantly developments their position by working in different sphere and its effect on household sector.

Limitations of the research:

          So conduct a fieldwork, a researcher has to face some difficulties. It is the duty of a researcher to overcome those difficulties and conduct his/her job accordingly. As a student, the main limitation I faced was time constraint. The duration of my fieldwork was 60 days. So complete this research within this period was a difficult job. Another limitation was that the number of sample was not big, only 30. So, it would not be a representative of the total working mothers’ activities in Dhaka city. Moreover, the working mothers remain busy all the time and all the day. Their only spare time is night. And they are free only in holiday. Sometimes they hesitate to express some of their real views. Sometimes, they do not want to speak the real picture of their life openly. Furthermore, there are no enough specific literacy elements specifically on this issue which can help to develop research work. However, in my research I have tried my level of best to fulfill the above conditions.

Review of Literature:

          Origin of women’s studies in Bangladesh goes back to the late fifties when a survey was conducted on the employment position of the middle class Muslim women and the obstacles retarding their entry in the labour market. The survey was conducted in 1958 under the study program of the Dhaka University socio-economic research board. A number of isolated studies were conducted during the 60s between 1953-1966 by individual researchers, such as McCarthy (1963), Shirley Linderbaum (1964), Mahmuda Islam (1965), and Tahrunnessa Abdullah (1966). Since the 70s a large number of studies on women has emerged in Bangladesh. A good deal of literature can be found on empowerment of women as a multidimensional concept. The category of these studies include-

  1. Status of women is family and society.
  2. Women and education.
  3. Women and health, nutrition and fertility.
  4. Women in productive and social work and
  5. Women and politics.

Now-a-days higher educated women’s employment become on urban phenomenon. Bad economic condition and the direct influence of modernization Bangladesh them to outside work. This has been existing in Bangali urban culture not for a long time. As a result, few writings have been published on the act of working mothers in urban society particularly in Dhaka cithers in urban society particularly in Dhaka cit. Different writers, individual researchers, social thinkers, scholars from home and abroad emphasized on this issues. I have found some papers which are partially related to my thesis work “The Act of Working Mothers” in the family and workplace: An Anthropological Inquiry in the Dhaka Cit.”

One of the books is Women for Women. Bangladesh 1975 in this book, “Women in Bangladesh”, an article by Rounaq Jahan, (1975: 27-28), it is mentioned that Bangali women both rural and urban traditional and modern live in a social system which sanctifies an unequal and inferior status for women. So far the women’s emancipation movement has concerned itself with the basic issues such as literacy and employment for women. The unequal relationship between men and women is not yet questioned. The small number of women who are educated and seek a career can easily be accommodated by the social system, especially since they do not challenge the basic rules of the system. In the absence of a movement, the consciousness about women’s oppression is low.

Besides in this book, there is another article “Women at work in Bangladesh”, by Mahmuda Islam (1975:93). She mentions here only in the few urban areas and mainly in Dhaka city, a beginning has been made towards the breaking down of traditional bandage. Portly due to western influence and partly due to economic pressure, women in these areas have been permitted to go out of their homes and seek employment side by side with men. The number of such women seeking gainful work is insignificant in relations to the total female population; but whatever may be their number these women set the trend of future development of women in this country.

“Employed women and office work” is an article by A. Ramanamma (1985:109) in his book graduate employed women in an urban setting. The essence of his article is, to study the problems of social changes occurring in the institutions of family and marriage due to the education and employment of women. The stresses and strains are created in the institutions due to social change. When these are resolved by equilibrium then social structure is established. In the society where the women have dual models of behavior existing side by side there is always bound to be tensions because of their inability to find the correct way of behavior. The result of higher education for women is that it gave them self-assurance and independence-which made them question the subordinate position of wife to her husband. This caused problems of adjustment in marriage, where she is not treated by her husband as an equal partners.

The discussion of women in selected occupational categories begins with the article by Michelle Patterson and Laurie Engelberg (1988:262) on the male dominated professions and Fames Grimm’s analysis of the female dominated professions. In examining the male dominated professions, Patterson and Engelberg identify discrimination and women’s difficulties is managing both their career and their husbands as factors contributing to their marginality and concentration in particular specialties. In both articles the authors address the issue of what constitutes a profession, provide a broad overview of the status of women in various fields and discuss the specific professions. The authors consider ways in which the professions could be more flexibly structured to expend opportunities for all practitioners.

Lois Wladis Hoffman and F. Kan Nye (1978) highlighted on Working Mothers:

          “An Evaluative review of the consequences for wife, Husband, and child.” The aim of working Mother is to full together research findings on the effects of maternal employment on the family from the fields of psychology and sociology, to organize these diverse findings by substantive topics, and to summarize them in non-technical language. The book focuses on the socio-psychological description of maternal employment, personal motivations for employment, women’s commitment to work, special aspects of maternal employment, the child care arrangements of working mothers, current prevalence and future prospects, the effects on the child, the effects on the influence patterns and division of labour between the husband and wife, the affective relationship between the spouses. Several criteria for evaluating the relationship are considered: divorce, conflict, satisfaction and a combination of rewards and tensions. The book also focuses on the mother herself, the mothers physical and mental health, her general self-concept, and her evaluation of herself in each of her roles, on overview of the present state of knowledge, pointing out the limitations of the current empirical picture and providing suggestions for further research.

Ann phoenix, Anne Woollett and Eva Lloyd (1994) published a book under the title “Motherhood Meaning, Practices and Ideologies.” The title makes conceptual distinctions between:

  1. The meaning that motherhood has far women (whether or not they are mothers).
  2. The ways in which women actually mother within the circumstances in which they live, i.e. the mattering they provide.
  3. The ideologies that underpin ‘common sense’ ideas about motherhood. Those ideologies then help construct what motherhood is considered to be and hence circumscribe the range of practices that mothers seek to employ with their children. The book address women’s experience of mothering but they do this in different ways and a number of interrelated themes emerge.

These are:

  1. That women continue to be defined in terms of their biological functions. Mother hood, and particularly childbearing, continues to be defined as the supreme route to physical and emotional fulfillment and as essential for all women (Ussher, 1990). This view encourages an inappropriate romanticization of motherhood and of mother child relationships.
  2. That while motherhood is socially constructed as valued and important, the circumstances and age at which women are supposed to become mothers proscribe motherhood for women who are, for example, considered too young or too old.
  3. That motherhood has been professionalized. The childcare manuals available demonstrate low motherhood has been claimed as an area of expertise by ‘experts’ who are frequently men and often doctors.
  4. That there are contradictions between prescriptions about what mothers should do and assertions that there are no hard and fast rules about mothering and that childrearing should be an individual, private affair.
  5. Social constructions of employment and motherhood affect meanings, practices and ideologies of motherhood. Precognition is not, for example, usually given to the fact that some mothers, structural positions give them no real choice about employment. Mothers employment is not detrimental children’s development if good alternative childcare is provided. However, social constructions of employment of mothers as detrimental to childcare is, in reality, damaging to all women, whether or not they are mothers.

“Women at work in Bangladesh” by M. Elizabeth Maroon, 1982 is a study of women’s food for work programs. This book shows that until recently, development planners and researchers have tented to ignore the importance of women’s contribution to and involvement in the development of third world countries. A closer look at the work women do and the way they use their time will illustrate the contribution women make, not only to their own households but also to the general economy. Work performed by women can be divided into three general categories: household maintenance work, productive but non-income generating work, and income generating work. There are a number of problems which must be considered in relation to the issue of women’s involvement in the paid labour force. First is the issue of time and physical constraints.

As in most countries of the world, women, in Bangladesh who are employed outside their homes must make arrangements for the care of their children while they are working. At some we observed numerous children who had been brought to the worksites by their mothers.

“Women and work.” Women & world development series, 1994, by Susan Bullock shows that work is a basic element of our common humanity. We all work though we may not be recognized and waged and work underpins the struggle for development. Women have always world, and their labour plays a key role in the survival of millions of families. They work longer hours than men and have a greater range of responsibilities, but the work they do is often neither public by nor privately acknowledge. Women are not a minority group or special category and similarly, women’s work is not just another issue. Although women have been subordinated and marginalized in different ways for much of history, their labour and the exploitation of that labour is the foundation of societies wealth. Women perform the vital function of producing societies producers and yet this role is made to appear private, marginal and with out economic value.

No discussion of what women do would be complete without referring to the question of domestic responsibilities, and women’s double burden. Whether or not women are in paid employment, whether or not they are working in farms, other family enterprizes or their own businesses. They are still responsible for the management of the home. The entry of women on to the labour market has not yet had the effect of relieving them of a share of housework and childcare – either through an increase in public or company provision, or through men taking more responsibilities. Women simply work longer hours in order to fit all their work in. This phenomenon is called the double shift double burden – for obvious reasons.

Martha C. Word in the book A world full of women, London, Singapore has stated that key issue for survival of believes is the income of its parents; the key issue for survival for the mothers is access to resources, so she can survive to care for the body. Studies show that bodies stay well when their parents have a good income and what money can provide: piped in water, toilets, sewers, and medical care, and above all, education for its mother. The determining variable for survival is not whether the body is breast-fed or bottle-fed; it is poverty. Throughout most of history and in most places, women carried bodies or made arrangements for them.

Childcare is the dependent variable, it is everywhere adjusted to any mother’s work. Overwhelmingly associated with women these tasks are often more undervalued and underpaid than is the work of production. Moreover, the work of reproduction is routinely\ broadened to include extensions of “housework” such as have gardens, subsistence and stowage as well as caring for those who are like babies, sick people, old people, or helpless people.

“Femina: Mother’s Day,” May 1, 2005 has shows that mothers are very powerful influences in a child’s life to be sure. When a woman is pregnant, her body is, quite literally, the soil out of which the new baby’s grows. The placenta and its blood flow are physical metaphors for how relationships work best. The blood supply of both mother and body are separate.

“A friendly mother but not a friend!” This relation is very important for both the parent and the child, since this is precisely where the trouble beings. In youth and s we nature, many of us have the attitude that my mother could never be my friend and this leads to resentment and anger. Vice versa the mother believes (wrongly) that she could never be friend her daughter/son and she thus feels guilty.

The new mother daughter relationship is based then on a clear understanding – that you do not seek to be your mothers best friend, nor you hers, you strive instead to be the best daughter you can be to you can be to your mother, and more power to you.

“Why women country – essays on women in development in Bangladesh,” (Shamim Hamid, 1996), University press limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh, this book discusses that women have a dual productive and reproductive role in society, during their childbearing years they are not always able to fully concentrate on a pure career track. In order to compensate for their other role which is equally necessary to society and also because women have a longer life expectancy, women’s retirement age should be five years more than that of men. Such actions are necessary because although 41 percent of the civilian labour force are women, their contribution to the gross domestic product is only 25 percent because of their high involvement as unpaid family labour, low rates when they are in wage labour, and because of their low levels in salaried employment (Hamid 1993). The state can play a major role in the empowerment of women through legislations that can correct the existing imbalance between men and women in the country.

 “Women for women Bangladesh, 1975,” Published for the women for women. By University press limited, Bangladesh, 1975, this book states that when one talks of “modern” Bangali women one usually refers to urban middle class women. The life style of an urban middle class woman is visibly different from that of a rural woman or a working class woman. Ostensibly she has an easier life with more leisure, but like all modern people in a traditional society, she lives in two worlds. When rural women are more blatantly oppressed or discriminated in the case of urban women, the oppression and discrimination are subtle.

A women’s career choice is also determined by her family. Her family – mainly her father – decides whether she should study and what she should study. It is again her father or her husband who decides whether she should work and what type of a job she should have. An urban middle class women, if she has a job, has some say in the couple’s division to home bodies. She often practices some from of birth control. Career women usually have fewer children, but a housewife tends to have fine to six children. The nation of a planned family appears to be acceptable only to the younger generation of urban women.

Research Methodology:

 According to marry E. MacDonald “research may be defined as systematic investigation intended to add to available knowledge in a from that is communicable & variable (Palanspy, 1960:24).

  So identify methodology I.A Hugnes mentions “the techniques a particular discipline uses to manipulated data and acquire knowledge” (Mitchell, 1979: 125).

So understand human culture the most unique feature in anthropological research is the approach to the study. Though the approach is generally known to be similar with the scientific method, it includes a humanistic interpretation of the data. It means the qualitative data bases on cultural description that present as acutely and anthropological image. In anthropological studies, fieldwork is the first hand experience of studying culture, and it encompasses all the activities that are necessary when anthropologists go to a new society to discover and describe the cultural knowledge of the people there.

 The present research discusses and focuses the increasing act of working mothers in the family and workplace. In order to identify this suitable combination of qualitative and quantitative information is essential. For this anthropological study is necessary.

Selection of the Research Area:

After the liberation war of Bangladesh, the growth rate of population of Dhaka city is growing increasingly. The four hundred years old city had only about 250000 people in 1947, and less than a million in 1972. In 1974, the population was 1.6 million, at the 1991 population census, the figure reached 6.9 million and now the population of Dhaka city is 9 million. Dhaka is now regarded as a mega city. It is likely to grow on extended Metropolitan region of 10 million in the year 2000 and between 20-30 million by 2025 (Islam, 1991).

Social class and social status have implications for human settlements development, both in rural and urban areas, but more particularly in urban areas where the class contrasts are sharper, with a tiny but powerful growth of the rich, a small section of the middle class and a huge majority of the poor and the destitute. Our Metropolitan cities are very unfairly structured in socio economic sense (Islam, N, 1985).

However, the operational definition for the upper class people of Dhaka city is: “the small number of the richest, living in a definite locality, identified as a social group which is economically sound, socially recognized, having and controlling over the most economic resources (including means of production), exercising influence over the rest of the society (particularly in terms of political power) and maintaining economically, socially, politically and culturally supreme position within an urban society like Dhaka, are called the upper class people.”

The operational definition for the middle class people of Dhaka city is: “the residents of government colonies, treated as a very special social group in a capital city, like Dhaka, living in a definite locality, having the same attitude, values and social status, practicing as well as participating in the same social ceremonies, playing more or less political power and after all enjoying the same administrative or bureaucratic culture; are called the middle class people.”

And the operational definition for the lower class people of Dhaka city is: “the poor, either self-employed (rickshaw pullers, small shop keepers on the street, etc.) or wage – employed on an irregular basic (e.g. domestic servants, ‘tokais’ (an informal group of poor) employed in workshops etc.) and without any legal findings on the employers, living in temporary residences with an unhealthy and environmentally degraded situation particularly in slums and squatters of Dhaka city and having their least political power (noting); are called the lower class people.

The people of Dhaka city are living in some segregated areas. The residential areas of Dhaka city are located in several distinct zones; for example, Ramna, Dhanmondi, Banani, Gulshan, Baridhara, Uttara are the segregated high-class areas of Dhaka city. There are also middle class and lower middle class segregated areas like Azimpur, Zigatala, Motijheel, Mohammadpur, Moghbazar, Malibagh, Shantinagar, Green road, New Elephant road, Hatirpool, Lalmatia, Kalabagan in Dhaka city. And, the segregated lower class areas of Dhaka city are its slums and squatters settlements. However, these segregated class areas of Dhaka city are mixed with a complex social character and located closely.

In this research, for the understanding of the act of working mothers in the family and workplace in Dhaka city, only four middle class areas has been taken. These are Azimpur, Green road, Zigatala and Mohammadpur as these areas were accessible and permissible for me. Again, in this research 30 households have been selected in these areas. For this, the unit of each case was households, the study involved middle class working mothers as respondents.

Sources of Data Collection:

          In this research data were collected from different sources. All the sources are divided into two groups.

  1. Primary sources and
  2. Secondary sources

Primary sources:

Primary sources means, the source from where the investigator collects data from the respondents and field observations. Data from primary sources were collected from different ways such as research areas respondents, field observation etc.

Secondary sources:

The researches had used various secondary sources for related information. The information was collected from Ministry of women and children affairs, women for women, shed and Internet also. Moreover, different reports and records like statistical year book, population census report, Newspapers chippings (The observer, The Daily Star), periodicals, research works, social science research journals, government and non government organizations, magazines (Femina, Ice Today) as secondary sources in the present research work.

Used Methods of Data Collection From the Primary Sources:

 Resource method is an important factor for all kinds of study. There are anthropological method, case study methods, social survey method and statistical method. Of these the first two methods are called the qualitative method and the last two are termed as quantitative method.

For anthropological method the researcher has to be a participant observer, and to make check list, using field diary, using field jotting focus group, using camera, using internet, conducting case study, etc and by applying these techniques, the picture of the human society, culture, occupation, peoples attitude and views, etc. can come out clearly. So these methods are called the qualitative method.

So survey on quantitative method, the researcher has to be aware of the findings, such as, problem selection of the micro level, sampling, questionnaire, interview, tabulation of data and the report writing. These techniques belong to social survey method. Statistical method is used by open survey. In this respect the scale must be formulated at first.

 However, the present research has been contracted on the basis of the combination of qualititative and quantitative method. In this research, the total time spent by the researcher in the field is 60 days.

Sampling Procedure:

After formulating the research problem and selecting the most appropriate type of study, every researcher must have to decide just which cases (people) are to be included as subjects of the study. Samples are used to estimate the true values, or parameters, of statistics in a population and to do so with a calculable probability of error. The technique will vary from one researcher to another, but in general the pattern is to leave considerable freedom of choice to the interviewer. Purposive and random sampling both has been need in this research. Purposive sampling may therefore be successful for practical goals when quick, crude results will satisfy. For example, a sample of cities or areas is chosen “purposively” i.e. because they to be “typical.” Sometimes respondents also help to inform where researcher can get more data.

 For the purpose of the study, it has been decided to selected 8 households from Azimpur area, 7 households from Green road area, 8 households from Zigatola area 7 households from Mohammadpur area and these number of questionnaires have been filled up by the researcher. The information collected from the field is quite reliable.

Data Analysis:

          After gathering data, it is important to analysis data. Hence, the researcher organizes the raw data in a form in which they can be analyzed. At the time of fieldwork, data received from the respondents and collect a huge no. of information. So, to arrange them in proper order these collected data need to be properly coded, transferred, case study is also need to analyzed and construct thematically. Such as-

  1. At first it is necessary to arrange the case study according the topics.
  2. To extract exact data reduce the irrelevant data and.
  3. Thematically arranged the data and set up in the research.

The task of analyzing in many cases, consumer more time and effort on part of the researcher than doing statistical analysis. The researcher relies upon the face to face interview technique for collecting information. These data have been processed through a computer. In this research the collected information is descriptive, and for this reason, the researcher has to rely upon different variables for the analysis of data. The level of measurement of most of the variable are nominal and interval scale. The statistical analysis of this study is also confined with frequency distribution and percentage for the better understanding of the specific phenomena.

It has to be mentioned that the data of the study have been collected from the primary source, and the secondary sources have also been used by the researcher for the collection of data. Moreover, after the analysis of data, the researcher has interpreted the results.

Fieldwork Experience:

This research work is a result of an essay of M.S.S. final year advanced research monograph. During the entire fieldwork period, researcher has gained different type of experience. As the research focus on the working mothers it was little bit critical for the researcher to meet the respondents. The respondents spent busy time all day long. They did not want to give enough time. In this case the researcher had to go to their houses and workplaces several times. Besides these, the respondents asked many questions.

Such as, what is the intention of this research, what will be the result of this research, why it is doing so deeply or so vastly, is it a NGO or any project related work, will it be seen or found when needed etc. All these questions were fascinating. Even they would not like to deliver frequently their opinion on their income-expenditure pattern, savings, husband-wife relation, mother-child relation, relationship within other members of family, work related pressure etc. After clarifying their queries they communicate with us. So, this research work was filled up with both the ‘pains and pleasures’. In spite of adverse situation moreover the researcher hardly tries to collect important data for develop the thesis work.

Mother’s world today:

Women throughout the would today live longer, healthier lives, are better educated, enjoy more job opportunities, and earn higher salaries than ever before. In many countries around the globe there are more women them men in every sphere even in top-level leadership roles both in business and in public life. The past several decades have witnessed tremendous improvements in women’s literacy, longevity, education and employment opportunities, and general standard of living. And as women’s lives have got better, their families have become better educated, better nourished healthier and more productive. Where women thrive, communicates and nations thrive.

Many women find that their greatest problem in holding down a job outside the home is the fact that they must fit a range of domestic tasks into their day as well. ILO connection No.156 – workers with family responsibilities (1981) – along with recommendation No. 165 is interesting because of the assumptions it challenging and the possibilities it suggests. It recognizes that workers who are responsible for children or other family members (a sick or elderly persons, for example) may have difficulties in carrying out their jobs. Ratifying states must make it possible for these people to work without discrimination but, what is more, they should help eliminate the conflict between their employment and family responsibilities by promoting workplace and community planning measures to respond to the needs of workers to respond to the needs of workers with families. The fact that the connection speaks workers, and not just women, makes it clear that family just women, makes it clear that family responsibilities should be shared by men and women; the recommendation spotlights the role of the state in providing services that are free or of reasonable cost. This standard has stimulated and reinforced action on a number of different fronts. The two main spheres of action are working arrangements, especially different forms of leave, and the provision of childcare and family services. It also encourages a strategy of information and education to promote public awareness. The role of training and retraining is cornered, as is the use of social security in relation to leave and home-based responsibilities. Twenty member states have ratified this convention.

 Whatever arrangement can be made in terms of leave and flexible working, there will always be the need for safe and affordable arrangements for the care of children, both before schooling starts and in tandem with school life. The principles requirements are that the care should be reliable and of good quality, affordable, conveniently located, and at hours that match working schedules. Childcare is an issue in every sector; indeed the lack of care is a factor in the rise of some forms of employment, such as home working, as well as in informal activities and self-employment. Child care responsibilities also make it more difficult for women to follow training, get involved in trade unions, or enjoy lie sure and recreation.

 Childcare is not only becoming more widely available, but it is also gradually becoming more responsive to the needs of workers: for facilities for babies and older children outside school, for example and also for night care and special assistance if a child is ill. Ideally, families should have a choice of care in the home, in the community or in the workplace. Services provided by local authorities may include information and refill as well as actual care. Governments can help defray costs for the employer and worker through tax relief and should be encouraged to do so, in acknowledgement of the fact that provisions benefit industry and society as well as the individual. Similarly, employers should contribute to community-based facilities. NGOs have also made an active contribution in providing facilities, often in association with income generation, literacy or training schemes, recognizing their importance to women’s self reliance.

The changing position and activities of mothers in Bangladesh:

Bangladesh which independence in 1971, had an estimated population is about 130 million in an area of 147570 km. women’s share of work force 41%. Women’s per 100 men of 94. The constitution of Bangladesh guarantees equal rights and position for women and men.

Education is one of the most important factors to improve their position. Education is recognized as a basic human right. Now social attitudes and institutions positively support females beside males in every aspect of life including higher education. Slow but steady progress in female educational expansion has been evident in recent times and rising parental aspiration for girls education side by side with that for boys-appeared as a new phenomenon. During the past 10 years the involvement of women in higher education has increased by about 20 times. 

Literacy rate of females by sex







Both sex


















Source: Census reports, BBS # SVRC report 1997-98, BBS

 In Bangladesh, women have actively participated in many activities, especially in the household activities and earning activities. Employed women both in the family and in the society. Women are conditioned with multiple responsibilities. They want to be efficient workers and by hard to perform their duties well. All the same time, they want to be good wines, good mothers and better home managers. In the 21st century, women are increasing their interest many diversities profession. Women in employment in Bangladesh number about 25 million. Only about 10.000 of them are in administrative and managerial services. Nearly 79% work in agriculture (including fishery and forestry), 9.9% work in manufacturing and transport sectors, 5.3% are service sector workers, 3% are professional/technical workers, 2.25% are sales workers and 0.6% are clerical workers. About 34% of unpaid workers in small and college industries are women.

Women can complete with men in seeking government jobs but there are also reserve quotas for them. The number of women employees in government services is about 85,000 (8.6% of total), of whom only 1% are in ministries, 16.55 are in the autonomous organizations and 82.5% are in general office. They hold 7% of class – 1 jobs, 3% class – II, 75% class – III and 15% class- IV jobs, Many educated women are entering the profession of journalism and their number is increasing day by day. This is true not only for the point media but also for the electronic media. Acceding to a survey carried out by the press institute of Bangladesh in 1990, the representation of women in the print and electronic media of Dhaka was around 5% (4% in newspapers, 5% in radio and 6% in Television). Most of the women employed in newspapers were working in the editorial section with a handful in reporting assignment.

Women’s place in Bangladesh politics has progressed through four distinct stages:

  1. Leadership level
  2. Quota system
  3. Electoral politics and
  4. Women’s movement

There is no doubt that women’s movement in Bangladesh has played a commendable role in creating awareness and political consciousness among the women population of the country. Through seminars, workshops and writhing they have highlighted the alarming lack of women’s participation in shaping the public policy, which affect their everyday lives.

State of Housewife Mothers and Working Mothers:

 In Bangladesh, once upon a time, the number of housewife mothers was greater them the working mothers. Housewife mothers do all the household works with her own hands. There is a maid to help her. She never asks relatives or neighbors to help her in her daily works. She cooks food perfectly. She sends the children regularly to schools and colleges. She gives enough time to her husband. She maintains a good-relations with her relatives and neighbors. Housewife mothers have enough time for family and children.

But mobilization of working mothers has significantly increased in under context. They have to perform double duty. Not only in the family but also in the workplace. They spend maximum time of day at work place. They pass busy time there. When they return home, they also remain busy. The life of working mothers is full of business. They are excepted to serve the husband, look after the children perform household duties like cooking, cleaning, working and sewing. They have to go to their workplace timely and have to perform their work perfectly. They have to balance is both the sectors equally. Sometimes they have doubts that the home might have been neglected to some measure, or the children don’t get proper care in their mother’s absence.

Agencies of changing position:

Historically, women in Bangladesh have actively participated in many economic activities, especially in the household and forming activities. Official statistics, however, do not record their contribution to GDP. Development of women started in Bangladesh as a movement against early marriage, the purdah system, and in justice to women in the name of religious norms. Added to the agenda later were the rights of women to have education and to participate in note and elections, peasant movements, politics, economic activities and administration. For this reason, the scenario has changed a lot since the emergence of Bangladesh as an independent state in 1971. Now, many educated women are entering the profession of journalism and their number is increasing day by day. This is true not only for the print media but also for the electronic media. The situation in the electronic media, i.e. Radio and Television, is a bit better than the news papers in the sense that here the proportion of women staff is higher. This is mainly because of the reserve quota for women in government jobs. Electronic media can help to rise about women’s power and position in and outside the family. Through drama, short film, cinema advertisement they have highlighted the alarming lack of women’s participation in shaping the public policy, which affect their everyday lives. The media raise some issue about women such as, violence against women (that means forcible acts of physical, psychological or several abuse of women), acid victims, rape, education right, noting right, against about early marriage, family planning, decision making, equal rights etc. In this way media describe this problem and solution very well organized. Also effect general mass people and gradually change their vision about women’s position and capacity.

Contribution of G.O and NGO:

 The government of Bangladesh and NGOs has undertaken action plans in the light of recommendation of the Beijing forum and the government organizations include, ministries of agriculture, forests and environment, health and family planning, social welfare, information, planning, youth and sports, culture, foreign affairs. Science and technology and education. Organization other than government ministries, departments and directorates involved in the process are non-profit voluntary organizations, women’s associations, mass organization and NGOs.

The government plays on important role to change the position of women and investment in women’s development. The fifth-five plan (1997-2002) stipulates amending current laws with a view to promoting women’s development. The constitution prohibits discrimination against women on grounds of their religion, caste or place of birth. The government has established women rehabilitation board, rehabilitation and welfare foundation, national women’s organization. Development of women affairs has office in all 64 districts and in 136 thanas. The National Women’s Organization implements its programs of women development with its office in 236 thanas.

The government promotes the interests of women through activities like construction of hostels for workingwomen, assistance to women in slum areas, establishment of day care centers for children of working mothers, introduction of separates buses for women to take them to and from work places, maintaining a women entrepreneur development project, creating opportunities for self employment of both urban and rural women in vocational and technical skills.

A large number of NGOs were founded in Bangladesh during and after the liberation war in 1971. Over the past decade numerous women’s organizations have emerged which have been campaigning for women’s better deal either through research work or through action plans. WID activities are fairly b body of NGOs in Bangladesh ADAB has a member executive committee with five women. They work for women and their activities, mobilizing them in protecting basic human rights, providing them training in livelihood skills, and creating increased health and education services for them. The innovative role of Grameen Bank has had tremendous positive impact on the development of female entrepreneurs for its micro-credit scheme. Following Grameen Bank, many NGOs now contribute to the growth and development of women entrepreneurs, although the help limited to small-scale enterprises. The rural enterprise project of BRAC creates special opportunities for women entrepreneurs in non-farm activities.

Thus the government encourages GO-NGO collaboration to create an environment in which create chances for female.

Description of Research Area:

In this research, for the understand of the act of working mothers in the middle class family and workplace in Dhaka city, four areas have been taken. There are Azimpur, Zigatoal, Mohammadpur and Green road, Azimpur is under 62 no. word, Zigatola is under 48 no. ward, Mohammadpur is under 44 no. ward and Green road is under 50 no. ward.

In Azimpur there is Market, Eden College, Home Economics College, Maternity, Hospital, Azimpur Girls school, Mosques. Day care centers, Sir Salimullah Orphanage is prominent. In Zigatola there is school, college, hospital, mosques, markets, day care, centers. In Mohammadpur there is school, Lalmatia College, University, markets, day care centers, hospital, mosques, bus stand etc. And in green road there is Ideal College, central hospital, Lab Aid, school, markets, and shopping centers.

The type of family is mostly nuclear (75 percent) and rest of family is joint family and is headed by male members. Literacy rate is very high there. The respondents are highly educated. The respondents are highly educated. The occupations of respondents are govt. services, NGOs services, teachers, doctors, lawyers, business holders, beauticians, traffic officers. The monthly income of these respondents is about 5000 to 28000. Which denotes that they are living in middle class family. The salaries of this class are also corresponding to their social status in urban society.

Sample Unit:

 In this research, researcher has taken 30 respondents from four research areas such as Azimpur, Zigatola, Mohammadpur, and green road. Azimpur area consists of 8 respondents, Zigatola area consists of 8 respondents, Mohammadpur area consists of 7 respondents and green road area consists of 7 respondents.

Age distribution of the samples:

          The age distribution of the samples drawn from four research areas is shown in the table 1.

Table 1: Age of the respondents

Living place of working mothers

Age in years












Green Road



  In these four study areas, there are same sex is taken. But there is age difference. Age is one of the demographic variables here. Maximum age limit is 30-39.

Number of Children of Respondents:

          In this research, working mothers of middle class family having children of four months to fifteen years have been taken as respondents. The number of children of the respondents is shown in the table 2.

Table 2: Number of Children of Respondent

Working mothersNumber of ChildrenWorking MothersNumber of Children

Living place



Living place

age (40-49)



















Green Road



Green Road



Educational level of the children:

The children of working mothers under five or six years are taken at home or day care centers. When they are five or six years old, they are taken to school and when they are sixteen or seventeen years old they are engaged in college. The education level of the children of working mothers is shown in the table 3.

Table 3: Education level of the children of working mothers

Number of children

In own home (number)

Day care center (number)

School going (number)

College going (number)














Green Road(9)





Home management of working mothers:

Within 24 hours, the working mothers have to stay at their working place for 6 hours to 9 hours. At that time, husbands, fathers, mothers, and father manage the home in law, mother in law, close relative of working mothers, permanent maidservants, temporary maidservants and caretakers. Home management of working mothers is shown in the table 4.

Table : Home management of working mothers

Number of respondents

Home Management

By husbandsBy parentsBy permanent maid servantBy temporary maid servantsBy close relations














Green Road(7)




It is clear from the table that most of the working mothers are depended on the permanent maid servants, some of the working mothers are depended on the parents, few of the working mothers are depended on the husbands and very few of the working mothers are depended on the close relatives for their home management during working time.

Educational qualification of the respondents:

Education is a single matter-which can bring a better life in a person’s life and open a door with various opportunities for a women. It is a helpful issue for working mother to be self-confident and self-dependent. Through education working mothers can change their position and can gain high status both in the family and workplace. Educational qualifications of working mothers are shown in the table 5.

Table 5: Educational qualification of the respondents

Research area





























Green Road







Occupation of the respondents:

The working mothers are participating in the job markets besides the daily house keeping tasks. They are engaged in deferent types of occupations such as govt. service, NGO service, Teacher, Doctor, Business, Beautician, Lowery, Lawyer, Traffic officer.

The occupation of the respondents is shown in the table .

Table : Occupation of the respondents


Number of respondents occupation to area

Azimpur(8)Zigatola(8)Mohammadpur(7)Green Road (7)
Govt. service




NGO service




















Traffic Officer



Most of the respondents are preferred to do govt. services and NGO services. Then they are preferred to be teacher, doctors something else. But it can vary according to the area

Communication system of the respondents:

The working mothers goes to their working place by business, rickshaw, private care, CNG and sometimes office bus. Private care and office bus is more reliable and comfortable for the working mothers than bus, CNG or rickshaw. Working mothers always find long queues at bus stand and dangerously overloaded buses on the streets. The working mothers like the ladies bus mostly. The transportation system of working mother is shown in the table 7.

Table : Communication system of the respondents

Number of respondents

By bus

By rickshaw

By private car


By office bus

Azimpur (8)




Zigatola (8)









Green Road(7)





Most of the working mothers are preferred to go to work place by bus and then private car. As the private car is a matter of enough money, so they choose bus, which is cheap.

Salary of the respondents:

In this research the working mothers belongs to the middle class family. They are the members of middle-income group. The income of the respondents makes socio-economic position of women. A higher income level ensures better socio economic condition. Working mother’s income is very much helpful for family and children expenditure. The income or salary of the respondents is shown in the table 8.

Table : Salary of the respondents

Number of respondents

Monthly salary (taka)






Azimpur (8)



Zigatola (8)











Green Road(7)





Anthropologically speaking that the monthly income of most of the working mothers in the middle class ranges from 5000 to 20000, which denotes that the women of this class are economically solvent with the correlation of their social status in this city. The working mothers of Azimpur, Zigatola, Mohammadpur and Green road have to go for work in the area of Uttara, Motijheel, Gulshan, Shahabag, Malibag, Shantinagar, Mohakhali, Kalabagan, Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar, Dhanomdi, Azimpur, and supreme court. Most of the working mothers have to work for 8 hours. Some of the working mothers have to work for 6 or 7 hours. As the working mothers have to stay out of home for a long period of time, they very busy life.

Family Maintenance:

          Traditionally a woman in Bangladesh plays only the role wife mother. She is expected to serve the husband, look after the children and perform household duties like cooking, cleaning, washing and sewing. The economic functions of the family are carried out exclusively by the wife therefore, dislocates the established order in the family and role confusion is likely to set in. The response and reaction of the husbands to the changed functions of wives will largely determine the action of the wives.

Each informant in this research was asked-

  1. If her husband is happy with her hob.
  2. If he is in favor of her continuing with the job.
  3. If she can maintain her responsibilities properly in the family.
  4. If she can face family crisis.
  5. If she can make her maidservants understand to perform duties.
  6. If she can satisfy her children. Most probably, all the working mothers to the questions without any reservation. Thus all the husbands of the career mothers are happy that their wives are employed and they approve their wives continuing of work. We may reasonably say that the husbands approving attitude towards a working wife is the outcome, not to a small degree, of the wife’s satisfactory accomplishment of traditional household obligations.

Responsibilities and duties:

          Family referred as a domestic unit consists husband and wife their children married or unmarried. Family is difference from the unmarried. Family is difference from the household. In a family a number of household may exist. In a family there is a connection between members and this is central to the distribution of different responsibility and role. At the same time family structure and concomitant domestic cycle places are other variable-which influenced economic settings in relating to the position of women.

          In the four researches areas there are nuclear family is more than joint family. There are 12 nuclear families and 18 joint families. Moreover, in Bangladesh by becoming a mother in law a woman attains the highest position in her family. She holds power and authority over her daughter in law. Only in this situation women exercise and enjoy the power. Actually, gender subordination makes mothers and daughters in law depended on the same resources: their relationship with non/husband.

          In the joint families, the adult women (mother in law the actual mothers of the working women) helped their daughter in laws (especially working women) by some activities such as household activities, cooking or making food, washing clothes, cleaning vesels, pots, arranging house, feeding, playing with children etc. They also inspired and assist them to work outside.

Case study Keya:

          Keya, a woman of 32 years. She is a govt. service holder. She has one brother. He is a student. She has married 6 years ago. Her husband is also a service holder. But his income is not so high. After marriage, she has joined in her office. Her husband did not create any obstacle regarding her job. She has two children, a boy of a 3 years old a girl of 2 years old.

          As she is a member of a joint family, she and her husband jointly try to resolve the family crisis. Again as she is economically solvent, she is mentally very strong. Due to her service she can contribute her husbands family as well. Her office hour is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Her office is far away from the residence and there is no office oriented day care center. Her two children stay at home. Her parents and her husband’s parents and her husband parents take care of the children. They also perform the family responsibilities and duties during her office time. They assist her to take the right decision. They appreciate her service and feel proud of her. She also thinks that “working mother has a special position in family and society after all.”

          But in the case of nuclear family household pattern the situation is different. In this case, a adult women (mother in law) rarely gets the opportunity to live in the same house with her daughter in law. Even much of the nuclear family-consist of only husband and wife with their children. But the presences of maidservant are very common in the nuclear family. If the children are too little, the working mothers engage permanent maidservants and when they become school or college going, the working mothers engage temporary maidservants. In the nuclear family, the working mothers mostly depend on the maidservants. The maidservants perform all the household activities and care the children all day long.

Case study Merry:

          Merry is a women of 38 years age. She is a doctor of a Medical College & Hospital. Her husband is also a doctor. She has two daughter, 11 years old and 5 years old. She lived in a nuclear family. She is totally dependent on the permanent maidservants. She has engaged two maidservants. One for her 5 years old daughter, who stayed old the time with her, played with her, taught her and looked after her. Another maidservant did the household duties, cooking, washing, cleaning, arranging, even going to market.

Merry loves her career very much as a doctor. Her father was also a doctor. Because of her family environment, she wanted to become a doctor from a very young age. She is thankful to her husband too who never complains about her profession. As a doctor she is more concerned about her children. She spends her income for her career development, for donation, for gift, for family, and save a fixed amount in time of need. When she returns from hospital, she listens everything about children and family. She has taught her maid servants about cleaning and purification. She also warns them about physical growth and physical diseases and illness. She has informed about the outsider world. She is a conscious doctor as well as mother. She is personally happy to see that women are coming to this respectful profession in large number.

Facing Family Crisis:

The working mothers remain very busy all the time and all the day. When they go to their working place, they remain full of activity and when they return to home, they further remain restless. During crisis, serious trouble, critical problem, calamity, dangers or difficulty in family they feel tension, depression, frustration, nervous etc. But as they are economically solvent, they are mentally very strong. They try to solve the family crisis quality. They share all the crisis issues with their husband as well as parents. They face danger coolly and keep their head in rest with patience.

Husband-Wife Relationship:

          The husband wife relationships are different in families in which the mother has a paid-employee role. Most fulltime paid employment requires the mother to leave her house for eight or more house daily. Preschool children must be placed in the care of others. Usually the mother cannot be home when children are dismissed from school, so that some other arrangement, or none, is made for an hour or so after they are out of school. Pike wise, the preemption of forty hours weekly changes the ways in which a women can enact the housekeeper role because of these factors, the working mother cannot fully, personally enact these traditional roles.

However, there is a connection between role- sharing and the employment of wives. The husbands of employed wives are more likely to participate in childcare. Child socialization, and housekeeping tasks than are husbands of non-employment wives. This role sharing provides a rationale for the possibility that the employment of wives may result in an increase in marital happiness. Again, employment increases the family level of living, the prestige of the mother, the appreciation of her by her husband, and the amount of democratic decision-making in the family, more over, she enjoy some of the social contacts connected with her job.

Case study Beauty:

          Beauty is a traffic officer of Bangladesh Biman. She is a woman of 34 years age. She has two children; one daughter (6) and one son (1). Both of them stay at home. She has engaged two permanent maidservants for performing family activities and caring children. Her husband is also a traffic officer in Bangladesh Biman. But officer in Bangladesh Biman have shifting duty. When she goes to work, her husband stay at home. Her husband does not interface on her opinion. Her husband always shows a positive attitude towards her profession. He takes care of the children, teaches them accurately, plays with them regularly, goes to park with them etc. Sometimes he cooks whatever he likes.

          He contacts with her wife through mobile during office time. There is a good understanding between this husband-wife. They cooperate each other in every moment. They both have bank account in local bank in their own name. They bear all the expenditure of their family jointly. They thinks that there should not discriminate between man and women. Again, they are free to attend different meetings, cultural programs and social activities.

          Although the average marital adjustment of population of employed and not employed wives does not differ substantially, employment of the mother may have a major effect or effects, positive or negative, on any one husband wife relationship. The consequences are a little more likely to be positive if the number of children at home is small, the job she takes is one she enjoys, the husbands attitude is positive, and the husband and wife have advanced education. In this research, there is a little conflict and dissolution in the husband wife relationship. The main cause of conflict is misunderstanding. Besides, husband wife relationships are full of happiness and satisfaction.

The employed mothers are much more likely to say they would like to have more recreation with their family than they have.

Mother Child Relationship:

Mother child relationship is the most beautiful and innocent relationship in the world. The mother’s attitude toward employment is seen as an important aspect of the situation that would affect her child-rearing behavior and thus mediate the impact of her employment on the child. The mothers who work as a professional has a different influence on child from one who does not work. The working mothers have to stay outside for a long period of time. If the child of a working mother is too little, he / she misses his/her mother deeply. So, when the mother returns to home, she tries to give time properly with her child. She tries to understand the child the importance of her work and their importance in her life. Actually, effective mothering takes place when parents spend quality time offspring’s. This helps the child to develop a sense of self and a place in the world. Any child’s self esteem is built on a belief that they are important. In Dhaka city, most of the working mothers act in a respectful way towards their children. They say ‘please’ and thank you often enough and do apologies when they are wrong. Children who are treated with respect will also know to treat their mother and others respectfully.

Case study Soma:

Soma is a 37 years old married woman. She got married at the age of 25. Her husband is a businessman. Their only daughter is 8 years old who is now studying in class three. She has passed her LL.M. She is practicing as a lawyer for 6 years. She spends her income for personal requirements, for her child & for family. She also donates some money. She is fully satisfied with her job. Her father was a retired judge of the appellate division of the Supreme Court. Because of her family environment, she wanted to become a lawyer. When she began practicing, there were very few female lawyers. She was not sure at that time whether she would be succeeded as a lawyer. But she is mostly thankful to her male colleagues who consistently encouraged her in those early days. She is also thankful to her husband who never complains about her professional business. There is a very good relationship between she and her daughter. She has engaged a female private tutor to teach her after coming back from school. She plays with her, talks with her, gives advise about what is right and wrong, goes to garden and market with her, tries to understand her point of view and sleeps her regularly.


The working mothers usually take rest on the weekly holiday and government holidays. On the holiday, the working mothers spend the time with their husbands and children. They take lunch together, visit to relatives home or beautiful places like park, garden, zoo, museum, picnic spot, ancient monuments etc. They also goes to cultural programs, parties, trade fair, book fair or cinema hall to enjoy movies, drama. Some working mothers arrange indoor games for their children. Working mothers thinks that recreational arrangements help to develop their children’s physical and mental growth.

Child Care Arrangements:

When mothers of preschool children take employment, some substitute caregiver must be available, excepts when the mother can have her children with her while she is employed. Also, many children of school age require some car or supervision since fulltime employment usually extends beyond the hours the child is in school. The working mothers and their families make different types of arrangements for their children. But the childcare arrangements of working mothers vary by age of children. In this research we have found that children are cared in own home by father, parents, in day care centers. Most of the children of the working mothers go to school and some of the children of the working mothers go to college.

In own home:

The children under six years are card for in own homes. In own home caregivers are fathers, sibling, relatives, housekeepers, maidservants (permanent or temporary), friends and others. During the shifting duty when the working mothers go to workplace, then the fathers take care of the children. They perform the childcare activities like feeding, bathing, toileting; even playing, gossiping, watching television with them. They try to act like mothers. They try to meet the want of mothers as they can.

Day care center:

Day care center is a social system of a society. In Dhaka city, there are many government and non-government daycare centers (01 July, 2003). In this daycare centers, the working mothers can put their children freely and safely. At present, the government has made sure of four months maternity leave for working leave for working mothers. After that, the working mothers try to put their children at day care center, if there is a lack of arrangements in own home.

Presently, there are 25 government day care centers in the whole country. Non-government organization like ‘Operajeyo Bangladesh’ has established 12 daycare centers in Dhaka city (June, 2004). Office oriented daycare centers are also established today vastly. When the children stay at day care centers, the working mothers remain in comfort and pleasure. They don’t feel tension or distress for them. Day care centers are the reliable and suitable place for the children of working mothers. Though there is a lock of workplace. Though there is a lack of workplace oriented day care centers, some children are pleasant to stay in the day care centers-which are established in the office. They find their mothers when needed.

Case study Lubna:

Lubna is a married woman. She is 28 years old. She is a service holder of an international organization. Her family was not financially solvent. Her father was died before her marriage. At first, she has completed her study and at the prior of her marriage she is in job. Now she is continuing her job to bear the family expenditure. Her husband is also a service holder. He is satisfied with her job. He gives support fully. She has only one son. He is five years old. He is registered in the day care center because of his mother’s organization.

From birth, he was taken care of by a maidservant. He was sincere but Lubna was always in anxiety since she had to stay in the office from morning to evening. So she has started keeping her baby in the day care center of her office, she is getting enormous mental peace and can work at office tensionless and in peace. So, she can contribute to her work more efficiently. She says that, ‘At least I know that he is close to my working place.’

Her son knows how to share with others and develop the community feelings. He has been growing up with children of different area and learning from them.

There are two attendants who are constantly guiding him how to speak clearly and properly with there. He knows so many things and reacts as well.

Now he wakes up early in the morning. He takes breakfast within I O’ clock and sleeps timely all of these are very irregular in her house. Last of all she thinks that the day care center is very important and necessary for working mothers, especially to those who have new born-babies. Newly mother can go to see her baby and time to her baby.

Mother worked during child’s school hours:

 Whatever arrangements can be made in terms of leave and flexible working, there will always be the need for safe and affordable arrangements for the car of children, both before schooling starts and after schooling ends. The principle requirements are that the care should be reliable and of good quality, affordable, conveniently located, and at hours that match working schedules. Childcare is not only becoming more widely available, but it is also gradually becoming more responsive to the needs of workers; for facilities for babies and older children outside school, for example, and also for night care and special assistance of a child is ill. Ideally, families should have a choice of care in the home or in the community. The working mothers of the school going children try to get their children try to get their children admitted in the popular and best schools of Dhaka city. When their children stay at school they remain tensionless and distressless. In this case, they engaged temporary maidservants at home. After returning from school, the children become tired, then they take their bathing, eat, sleep etc.

Mother worked during child’s college hours:

 The working mothers of the college going children are more pleased and active. As their children have been gotten older, they have enough time for work. They have a very little tension and headache for the children of college going. In the college life the children become more able and stable to make their decision and to perform their daily routine. They are not as little that they cannot do their duty. The working mothers try to make a good relationship with their college going children always. After college life, they will enter in the wider world, so the working mothers give advised and lesson to them to be perfect. They try to understand their perspective about any subject. They give their children undivided attention.

Case study Poroma:

Poroma is a college teacher. She is about 44 years age. She has only one daughter who is 16 years age. Poroma goes to college by rickshaw. Her daughter also goes with her. She is a student of her mother’s college. She feels comfort and pleasure because of her mother’s presence in the college complex. Poroma and her daughter come back to home together. She has no extra tension or head back for her relationship between mother and daughter-which is full of love and affection.

Poroma is also a good teacher. She has been the best teacher in her college this year. She has worked for primary education and structural activities for children, first aid and adult education. She campaigned and raised funds to help the female victims of the society. Poroma says, there will have to face. Poroma’s husband is a businessman. He also supports her activities. She has engaged a temporary made servant at home to perform household duties. She is really a successful working mother.

Act of Working Mothers at Workplace Level

In this research, the working mothers are engaged in different types of profession like government service, NGO service, teaching, lawyer, business, beautician, doctor, and traffic office. They have to work for 6 to 8 hours. The work commitment is a relevant factor. The extent of commitment also has effects on the feelings and behavior of children.

Commitment to work:

          For women who are working, three variables (type of work, plans to have more children and reasons for work) related significantly to future work plans. Maximum employed women are unlikely to plan work in the future and women pregnant at the time of interview are still less likely to plan future work. The most important variable relating to future work plans was reasons for working. Most mothers initially offered financial reasons for working. Further, the women who offer only non-financial reasons for work are more likely to plans extended work career than the women who work for a combination of financial and non-financial reasons.

The reasons for work are:

  • Economic sufficiency
  • Self dependency
  • Further opportunities
  • Changing norms
  • Gaining status in family & society
  • To make a better life
  • To meet the family needs
  • Working to occupy time
  • Create a more healthy hands
  • Practice of education
  • Gathering experience

Although strong work commitment is generally related to occupation, the working mothers claimed to work for financial reasons, but showed a high work commitment as measured by future work for financial reasons, but should a high work commitment as measured by future work wishes.

The two non-economic variables, wife’s education and expected family size, are significantly related to labour force participation. The larger the family expected, the less likely the wife is to work; and the higher the wife’s level of education, the less likely she is to work. Moreover, the education of the wife now is positively correlated with work commitment because the multiple regressions takes into account the interrelationship of husbands income and wife’s education. Thus, the expected family size and wife’s education are of utmost significance in predicting labour force attachment as measured by work behavior rather than by plans to work. The mothers who express the greatest future work plans are most likely to say they enjoy housework.

Career barriers

A major deferent to the career commitment for women is the prejudice and discrimination faced in every profession. Women have received discriminatory treatment is recruitment and living, job assignment, salaries, employee, benefits, and promotions. They have not had the same access to their colleagues as men have, and they have been more restricted than men by their family commitments. The pursuit of careers has been difficult and the rewards uncertain. Dropping out has been socially sanctioned, and dropping out for purposes of motherhood has been applauded.

 In addition, there is also psychological problem, if women is too achieving, too successful in her academic work or career, she may not feel feminine and may be rejected by men.

 Because of these prevailing stereotypes about the career women and the prevailing belief that a woman should not be more competent than her husband or boyfriend, many highly capable women, including those in the professions, feel that they are under pressure to prove their femininity. And one way to do so is to have a baby.A common choice point between a new job or another child, one that cuts across educational groups, occurs when the youngest child starts school and the woman experiences a need to fill the resulting said. She may choose employment, or, because this alternative is unattractive, relatively unavailable, or psychologically threatening she may have another baby instead and thus postpone the diminution in maternal functions. Furthermore just as employment may sometimes be an escape from maternity, so also can maternity be an escape from the pressure or monotony of an unpleasant job.

For the most educated working mothers there may be a particular problem. The success of the marital relationship for this group often requires that both partners perceive the husband to be the more intelligent or successful is his career, and this is evidenced even among dual career couples. Any change in this perception may be a threat to the husbands sense of masculinity, the wife’s sense of femininity, and thus to the have relationship. An many cases this threat may come simply cases this threat may come simply from a change in the established equilibrium, such as when experience or her husband love a failure, or when the non working wife considers returning to a career or seeking further solution than pregnancy? It removes the wife from the achievement career arena, confirms her feminity, and reestablishes affiliative this.

Working women’s attitude towards job:

The majority of the working mothers are satisfied with their job. Doctors and lawyers have no complaints about their profession. But the government and NGO service holders have some complains about their professions. They feel the lack of workplace oriented day care centers mostly. Sometimes, working mothers have to face unalterable situation in the workplace. They work bones them with little scope for doing justice to their profession. The teachers have also some discontent about their profession. One schoolteacher has stated, “I always wanted to be associated with the teaching profession. But I am net fully satisfied with my present job as the standard of education is going down gradually. I find very few students who take interest in study. Most of the students are not regular in attendance in the class and during the examination they use unfair means.” However, the desire for a change of career is very low among working mothers. Most of the working mothers are pleased to remain in their job. Some think or try seriously for an alternative position in a reliable and secured environment.

Work related stress and load:

Every working mother is under some pressure in the workplace. Some external pressures can be a positive factor, helping use to be more productive. Some people actually thrive under short-term added pressure, and our bodies are designed to meet these short-term demands. Hormones including adrenaline are released to prepare us for a fight or flight response to demanding situations. However, excessive and prolonged stress can take its toll, producing a range of physical and emotional health problems-which have come to be grouped as work related stress.

There is no single cause of work related stress. While stress can be triggered by sudden, unexpected pressures, it is often the result of a combination of stressful factors-which accumulate over time. Some working mothers can become so used to the symptoms of excessive stress that it goes un-noticed to their detriment. Most work related stress is related to management of work, relationships at work, organizational setup and whether, they feel they have power and control in their work. The experience of stress is different for every person. Some working mothers are affected more than others, so what is stressful for one woman may not be stressful for another.

 It can depend on personality type and on how one have learned to respond to pressure.

Self help:

 It is impossible to escape pressure at work altogether, so it is important to learn how to manage, stress. There are a number of ways in which you can reduce the negative impact of stress.

Changes at work:

 If work related stress is affecting the working mother, it is important to deal with the problem as soon as possible. One of the most important factors in reducing stress levels is managing time effectively. Priorities tasks delegate where necessary and take care not to take on more than you can handle. Completing one task before going on the next will help the working mothers to feel more in control of work. Every working mothers interest is that the workplace is as stress free as possible.

Life style changes:

Regular activities outside work help the working mothers to meet new people, take their mind away from work worries and remind then that there is more to life than the office. Bring a sense of fun into their life by starting a creative hobby such as painting, or a new form of physical activity such as swimming or working.

Seeking further help:

Some working mothers need to seek further help for work related stress, as they may be depressed or have an anxiety disorder-which needs treatment. Treatments can include a talking therapy such as counseling. There are also courses for stress management and lots of self help resources.

Stress is an inevitable but complex companion to the working mothers life. The aim should be to manage stress by becoming aware of their individual ways of responding to it, and through making effective changes to their working lifestyle.

Effects of work on child:

The effects of maternal employment on the child is depend on the nature of the employment, the attitude of the mother, her family circumstances, social class, whether employment is full or part time, the age and sex of the child, the kinds of child care arrangements and a host of other conditions. In the middle class, part time maternal employment seemed to have a positive effect on adolescent children, although this was not equally true for fulltime – employment or for younger children’s. And the mothers, attitude toward employment was seen as an important aspect of the situation that would affect her child rearing behavior and thus mediate the impact of her employment on the child.

The daughters of full time working mothers with positive career attitudes tend to have higher self-esteem, and academic aspirations than the daughter of a non-working mother. The adolescent daughters of working mothers are relatively independent, autonomous, and active, and they show a higher level of achievement.

For boys, maternal employment might influence their concept of female role, but what the effects are on their attitudes toward their father and themselves depends very much on the circumstances surrounding the mother’s employment.

Effects of work on mother:

Since the employed mother has two clusters of duties, household and employee, which traditionally have been considered full time occupation, considerable concern has been evinced about her health and well being.

Physical health:

Actually, there is no significant differences between employed and non-employment mother’s blood pressures. But sometimes, it is found that the employed mothers have a higher blood pressure. It is especially true for older and over weight women. It may be that mothers feel there is no escape from house hold roles, whereas most feel they can leave paid employment.

Psychological health:

Concern about combining fulltime employment with adequate performance in the child-care and housekeeper roles seems to have been extremely widespread among employed mothers.

Anxiety is closely related to the evaluation of the mother substitute. Lower anxiety is found for higher income families, perhaps because they were able to secure better childcare services. Apparently the beliefs of the mother’s parents are relevant also since mothers with traditionalist’s parents were more likely to feel anxiety in leaving their children.

Employed mothers have a more positive image of themselves than do housewives. The employed mothers are viewed as well educated, well-informed, ambitions. Thus, the employed mothers have self-confidence and a positive self-image.

The working mothers become mentally ill because of role conflict, both from needing to be at home and at the office simultaneously and from the time and effort required by a combination of provider and household roles. Sometimes working mothers feel back pain or headache for hypertension and pressure of work. When the working mothers return to home they stay in hot temper for some moment. Then, they take rest for their better feelings

Problems and Possibilities

In Bangladesh, the working or employed mothers have different types of problem. But they try to face them politely and with patience. There is a great possibility to change the position of working mothers and to achieve a high status both in family and workplace.

Attitude of family members towards working mothers:

 The family is the most important primary group in society. It is the simplest and the most elementary from of society.

Further, of all the groups that affect the lives of individuals in society none touches them so intimately or so continuously as does the family. From the moment of birth to the moment of death the family exerts a constant influence. The family is the first group in which we find ourselves. It provides for the most enduring relationship in one form or other. Every one of us grows up in a family and every one of in a family and every one of us too will be a member of one family or other.

According to glint and Merrill, “Family is the biological social unit composed of husband, wife and children.” As in present time women’s mobility is increasing day by day in this affair, family member’s attitude is on important matter. Because, if women does not receive the family support properly, it would be different to develop herself. Therefore family members attitude is gradually changing. Women are now come out from their traditional veil system. Maximum women can easily accept the permission by family members to go outside women for different purpose. In recent years workingwomen are the burning issue and get importance with social and cultural changes to their lives in Dhaka city. Social norms have evolved, are continuing to evolve and are doing so quickly.

Due to the wider access to education have significantly changed family members and peoples ideas what girls can do the space they can move in, and their own aspirations. Some care aspirations, however, remain the same for mothers and their daughters. Due to the family members support women are now increasing their mobility and more visible in the market.

In four research areas are Azimpur, Zigatola, Mohammadpur and Green road, respondents most of the family are nuclear family, rest of the family is joint family. In nuclear family husband of the respondent inform about their attitude and opinion. Their opinion is varying according to the respondents. Some think that if women work outside the house then family work, caring children does impact about this. But if it can be successfully complete then she can do the job. Some one opened that it important for women to do a job to proper utilize her educational knowledge.

Empowerment of women:

Empowerment of women as a concept has surfaced the recent development literature although it has been as old as civilization with social stratification when powerlessness prevailed upon many and the powerless and exploited them. Empowerment is an active, multidimensional process, which enables women to realize their full identity and powers in all spheres of life.

The Bangladeshi women have always been negatively pictured by society at large. Yet if we analyze carefully we shall see that they have played a prominent role in many areas such as the working for self-dependency and economic sufficiency, the struggle for eradication of poverty. These women have successfully been able to maintain their families, children and perform the duties in the workplace. Empowerment also makes a woman free from religious orthodoxy, polygamy, child marriage, unequal marriage, forced pregnancy. She should be able to challenge any dogma and unrealistic, forced prescription of the patriarchal society.

Pains and pleasure of work:

          The working mothers of middle class in the Dhaka city have both the pains and pleasure of work. Always they have to remember that at first they at mother then the working at first they are mothers then the working mothers. They give the maximum priorities to the welfare and well being of their children. Most of the working mothers have says, “If needed, we must leave the job. Because we feel, at first we are mothers of children.”

The pains related with work have to be faced by the working mothers are like lead comments of people with little moral value, irritating attitude of uncivilized people in the roads or streets, transportation inconvenience pick pocketing, disturbance of beggars.

  In the workplaces they have to face some sufferings an humiliating comments of colleagues, insulting attitude of colleagues, lack of trust, lack of freedom to exercise their own idea, very mechanized way of life, scarcity of food or canteen, mismanagement of washroom, do not get a leave of absence from duty when needed, absence of workplace oriented day care center, office politics. On the other hand, the working mothers also get the luxury to work in a convenient environment, though they are to be lucky to get this. The pleasures they get are beautiful and secured environment, friendly and reliable colleagues, trust of people on them, team work, new experience their own ideas, bathroom or toilet facilities, sufficient food, get a leave of absence from duty when needed, opportunity of day care centers etc.

Conclusion-An overview of the research

Predominantly, Bangladesh is a patriarchal society. About fifty percent of total population is female in Bangladesh. Culturally they are subordinate compared with men. No motion can be developed keeping half of the strength out of their proper position and activities. But in the past several decades have witnessed tremendous improvements in women’s literacy, longevity, education and employment opportunity, and general standard of living. And as women’s lives have attained better opportunities, now they are better educated, better nourished, healthier and more productive. This change is observed mostly in urban areas than in rural areas. The main focus of the researcher is the act of working or employed mothers both in the family and workplace.

In this thesis, the researcher high lights on various key points and analyzed them according to their significance. In the first chapter, introduction of the research, computerizing and contexltualizing gender disparities, meanings and ideologies of motherhood, statement of the problem is visualized and after this-limitations of the research has been focused. Review of different literature is also described.

          In the second chapter, the research methodology is analyzed. Methodology is the most important chapter of any research work. Because the whole research out look is mainly depended upon this. In this research, both primary and secondary data have been used. Fieldwork experiences have also been discussed.

          In the third chapter, the changing position of mothers, mothers world today, state of house wife mothers and working, agencies of changing position and contribution of Go, and NGOs have been analyzed.

          In the fourth chapter, description of research area, age distribution of working mothers, number of children of working mothers, their education, and communication system of the working mothers, salary and expenditure as well as profile of the working mothers has been focused.

          In the chapter five, the act of working mothers at household level has been discussed such as family maintenance and childcare arrangements. In the family, the working mothers have to perform responsibilities and duties crisis. They also make arrangements for their children what is suitable and perfect.

          In the chapter six, the act of working mothers at workplace level and different issues such as commitment to work, work related stress and load, effected of work on child, career barriers, working mothers attitude towards job have been analyzed.

          In chapter seven, problems and possibilities of the working mothers and attitude of family member towards working mothers, working mothers’ empowerment has been focused.

Finally, in the last chapter the researcher tries to find out the findings of the-her research, and also tires to gives an overview of the research.

As women is one of the important resources for any developed or developing country, they should be considered to formulate any development policies and provide enough space to prove their efficiency, quality, intellect and expert. Among multifaceted variables, education is the key factor that helps women to change her life style radically. This research papers recommends that the strengthening working mothers position and regular activities through improvements in either quintet or qualitative conditions is the most effective way to increase their bargaining power. In this research monograph we have found that most of the working mothers can balance in both mothers can balance in both the sector as family and workplace in the Dhaka city. They are enjoying their life with family members and professions.

Working Mothers

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