Hepburn Sacha
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Working women and childcare challenges
in Home economics
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This chapter explores the struggles that Lusaka’s women have faced to fulfil gendered domestic ideals while working beyond the home. It focuses particularly on women’s experiences as mothers and their childcare strategies, exploring the types of childcare that were available, women’s perspectives on these options, and their relationships with those who cared for their children. Women’s testimonies reveal that the most common forms of childcare were reliance on family members and the employment of domestic workers, both of which primarily involved female labour. The chapter explores how Lusakan mothers’ childcare strategies were similar to and different from those of urban women elsewhere in southern Africa. It examines the emotional and practical challenges women in Lusaka experienced when leaving their children in the care of others, and the complex and sometimes fractious relationships they developed with those who cared for their children.

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Home economics

Domestic service and gender in urban southern Africa

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