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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Mothers in the Informal Economy and Changes in Child Feeding and Caring Roles in Kampala, Uganda
Authors:Mulindwa, Innocent N.
Ntozi, James P.M.
Year:2004
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume:29
Issue:3
Pages:114-130
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Uganda
East Africa
Subjects:mothers
informal sector
breastfeeding
baby food
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Health and Nutrition
Cultural Roles
Health, Nutrition, and Medicine
Women and Their Children
Sex Roles
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
nutrition
Informal sector (Economics)
Working mothers
Child caregivers
Abstract:This article examines the child feeding and caring practices of mothers in an informal economy in Kampala City, Uganda, using qualitative data collected in 1996. It was found that the supplementary feeding of children in this context started as early as three weeks despite the widespread belief among mothers that full breastfeeding should go on up to at least three months. This action was justified in terms of insufficient milk, working away from home, maternal illness, increased appetite of the child, sex of the child, child illness and contraception. The article also shows that, due to financial constraints, working mothers rely heavily on relatives as childcare providers. The findings seem to contradict the popular belief that informal sector work is compatible with child rearing responsibilities. Regulations, the environment of the work place together with financial constraints operate against desirable practices regarding child survival and development. This does not mean that women should not participate in gainful employment outside the home, because their contribution is vital to the enhancement of the country's economic growth. Instead, avenues which can help them minimize the conflict, particularly in the direction of full breastfeeding together with the provision of proper childcare services near work places, need to be explored. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract, edited]
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