Caring duties in families
According to Groves and Finch (1980) and Oakley (1981), who were feminist critiques in the earlier days, housework is work. They argued that cooking, washing, breastfeeding, ironing among other household chores, involve a lot of labouring only that it is not counted or paid for since it is basically for private growth. Housework is also termed as work not only because it is regarded as a responsibility but also due to the idea that it involves a workload that is very heavy, it has a great purpose and contributes a lot to the welfare of the family not to mention the society at large. Caring work is it paid or unpaid, has always been attached to ideas concerning femininity and low status and the majority of those who have taken up this work are women.
Tronto (2013), distinguished “caring for” as a sphere traditionally for women which is involved with being attentive to the needs of other people in the shape of commitment of both effort and time mostly at a great price to an individual. Due to this great role strain, they produce health problems frequently, their outlook in life is less positive and therefore they require more support externally than men. According to Yee et al (2000), female caregivers tend to report on how caring duties interfered with their social life and work more than men. According to Stiglitz et al (2009), caring duties is an equally important aspect in the economic activity as well as a factor that is very indispensable and it greatly contributes to the individuals, families as well as societies’ well-being.
Both men and women also tend to have different tasks when they are undertaking their care duties. Those tasks that are associated with personal care such as dressing, bathing not to mention those tasks that are associated with everyday living, women tend to provide assistance in such tasks as compared to men. For every second that a woman spends on the caring duties, it is a representation of a second less that she could have spent in a potential manner on activities that are related to the market or else investing on her skills or her education that will help her excel in the labour market. Due to the fact that the caring duties tend to be more on women, the quality of employment for the females with the unequal amount of the time they spend on caregiving tends to increase the probability that they will either engage in vulnerable or part-time employment.
Those regions that have women perform caring duties more than men, women in those regions tend to engage more invulnerable and part-time jobs as compared to men. Due to them engaging more in caregiving, which often takes more of their time and energy they tend to be limited in terms of the labour market accessibility and this definitely relegates them to poor incomes and job insecurities. According to Hegewisch and Gornick (2011), the struggle that women undergo while trying to reconcile the caring duties with their careers, can result to occupational downgrading since they will tend to choose those jobs that are below the levels of their skills and they will also go to the extent of accepting to work in poor conditions prone areas.
This will be a solution to the issue of low salaries since it is assumed that those occupations that are female dominated tend to be paid lower salaries and at the same time they are of low status. This will also help since males are expected that they will bring a banter that is different from the usual into the place of work. These expectations from the males in female-dominated occupations, men are put in that position where they are males first and secondly placed as professionals (Nordberg,2002). It is also important to ensure that there is the perspective of gender sameness in the occupation so as to ensure that gender equality has been promoted where men who have opted to take their caring duties at home can be appreciated for their work and not only seen to be ‘masculine’ but also contributing something else that is so different.
The good qualities of those who wish to undertake such an occupation should not be linked to femininity for it will bring up problems for those men who wish to be in that career and final result to the division of tasks on a gender basis. This will ensure that those undertaking caring duties do not have to keep getting worried about the welfare of their loved ones who are some distance away, but they can quickly have a glance at them at work comfortably. Caring duties tend to be the link that is missing in the gender gaps in the labour outcomes. Care should never be assumed to be a burden and hence it is necessary for it to be distributed between women and men and also between the family and the state.
Despite being the importance of the well-being of every individual, caring duties are left out from the policy agendas commonly because there is a misconception that it is not so much relevant for policies and it is quite difficult to measure as compared to measuring of the market work. However, neglecting of caring duties can cause more harm since it can result to inferences that are not correct concerning the changes and levels in the well-being of an individual as well as the value of time. , & Groves, D. Community care and the family: a case for equal opportunities? Journal of Social Policy, 9(4), 487-511. Hegewisch, A. , & Gornick, J. C. Constructing masculinity in women's worlds: Men working as pre-school teachers and hairdressers. NORA: Nordic Journal of Women's Studies, 10(1), 26-37.
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