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monographs
Series No. 11
Women, workload and the women's health and development programme: are women overburdened?

Kaosar Afsana, Syed Masud Ahmed, Maliha Mayeed, Rita Das Roy, Fazlul Karim

August - 1998

This study investigated whether different activities of Women's Health and Development Programme (WHDP) overburdened the participating women. The study was carried out in Monmothpur and Rampur areas1 of Parbatipur thana under Dinajpur region of WHDP. Data were collected through focus group discussions, in-depth interviews and daily time-use methods from women who were associated with different activities of WHDP, such as mahila shava (MS), gram committee (GC), village organization (VO) and shasthya shebika (SS). Triangulation method was applied to cross-check the findings. The findings reveal that, apart from women's enormous workload at home, the SSs among all participating women spent a considerable amount of time in WHDP activities without monetary gain. It also put a limit to their subsistence and income-earning activities. Besides, WHDP activities compelled them to finish household work hastily leading to exhaustion and fatigue by the end of the day, particularly of the women with small children. It also indirectly put pressure on the school-going girls and old mothers-in-law. The SSs involved with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) became more exhausted due to burden of dual community activities. To reduce the burden of the SSs the following actions are recommended: a) monetary support to the SSs should be provided; b) women aged more than 35 years having no small children and who are not involved with other NGOs should be selected; and c) women belonging to extended or joint families may be preferred as SSs with the option of giving assistance (in the form of loans) from BRAC to the members of that family. 

 
 
 

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