Action Aid advocates responsibility re-structuring to reduce burden on women

If a man helps at home, he is helping himself and the family.

The Deputy Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria, Ifeoma Charels-Monwuba, on Monday said the various responsibilities on women needed to be restructured to enable them maintain healthy lifestyles.

She said this in Abuja during a capacity building workshop entitled “Unpaid Care Work and Economic Justice” for states and stakeholders, organised by Action Aid in collaboration with the Institute of Development Studies, U.K.

Ms. Charels-Monwuba described unpaid care work by women as the housework and care of persons at homes and communities which were not paid for.

The deputy director added that it was an area that had generally been neglected by economists and many development actors.

She said the organisation intends to look at the national planning and how it recognised unpaid care work, adding that women contribute a lot to the economy.

She said unpaid care work was relatively new and that the workshop was to help people to understand and recognise it.

“So the workshop we are doing is to help people to recognise that women are carrying this unequal burden for the care of the things happening around their homes,” she said. “Also to look at how we will redistribute it, so by the time you get people to recognise that, just as women wake up so early, do work that is not paid for. ‘’

Ms. Charels-Monwuba explained that the same women would go out to do the paid job or the one that got some economic benefits to it and came back and continued with the unpaid one.

“While her partner just does the one that he gets paid for and that every other thing that is not being paid for, the woman alone carries the burden.

“When we get people to recognise that this is happening, we will now move into redistributing those roles such that her husband takes out some of it,” she said.

She explained that the group was not saying pay the woman for it, but some of that burden needed to be shared, if it was something like home work.

According to her, the man can come home instead of closing and going to a joint to do some home work while she does the cooking.

“If it is a community or environment that does not have water, the man can either use his motorbike or car, assist in getting water, and the woman handles other issues.’’

She said that it was also the issue of “what can the government do to help women to get early child centres that are affordable and up to standard in their communities.

“If communities have such centres, it will be easier for women to leave their children in good hands to enable them carry out their daily activities as their counterparts.

Mrs. Ene Obi, the Regional Training and Development Advisor from MS Training Centre for Development Corporation, Tanzania, said “if women supported the family, they would also be supporting the standard of living in the house.’’

She said that with such approach, the quality of life and communication in the family would also be improved.

“The quality is raised and the standard of the community is also improved upon,” she said. “So, it is a good thing for men and women to work together for the health of their family.”

According to her, if a man is helping a woman, he is helping himself, the family, the community and the society at large.


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