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Reading: Self-perceived burden of childcare on mother-substitutes of children of migrant women

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Self-perceived burden of childcare on mother-substitutes of children of migrant women

Author:

BCV Senaratna

Department of Community Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
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Abstract

Introduction:

Large numbers of Sri Lankan women who annually migrate overseas for employment leave their children with substitute-carers. Despite direct influence these carers may have on left-behind children, their perceptions on responsibility of childcare are not adequately studied.

Objectives:

To describe self-perceived burden of childcare on Primary Carers (PCs) of children of women migrants.

Methods:

This qualitative study was conducted in Colombo, Gampaha, and Kurunegala districts. Semistructured interviews were conducted with forty PCs using a pre-prepared, interviewer-administered, semi-structured questionnaire. Qualitative content analysis was used for data analysis.

Results:

PCs attribute several physical health problems to childcare responsibility and have neglected continued care for chronic illnesses. More male than female PCs perceive their mental health to have suffered from childcare responsibility and feel that they are incapable of providing optimal care for children. Family and social relationships of PCs are adversely affected and other family members are neglected. Younger PCs have forgone their marriages. Earnings of migrant women filtering down to PCs are minimal, adversely affecting PCs financially. Older PCs have difficulties in continuing employments while younger PCs forgo educational and employment opportunities. It appears that many PCs consider childcare responsibility to be a burden on them affecting their normal lifestyles.

Conclusions:

Adequate support services to arrange for suitable childcare facilities without it becoming a burden on PCs is required to be established and policy and policy instruments must be in place to ensure full financial and social benefits of women's migration is reaped by their families and country.

Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka Volume 16, No. 02, December 2011 38-41

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v16i2.4579
DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v16i2.4579
How to Cite: Senaratna, B., (2012). Self-perceived burden of childcare on mother-substitutes of children of migrant women. Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka. 16(2), pp.38–41. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jccpsl.v16i2.4579
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Published on 22 Aug 2012.
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