Are Working Mothers in India Investing Less Time in the Next Generation?

Sivakami Muthusamy, Institute for Social and Economic Change

The relationship between increased female work participation and mother’s time with children in developing countries remains inconclusive. This paper suggests that a more detailed disaggregated analysis of various childcare activities in terms of essential and non-essential activities can explain this ambiguity. Hence, this paper looks in detail at how mother’s time with children on essential and non-essential activities varies among poor women in India according to their work status, in the context of a decline in fertility and the number of extended families and a scenario where patriarchy remains prevalent. Women in the age group 15-49 who had at least one living child below 10 years in urban slums and in rural Scheduled Caste settlements were selected for this study. While regression analysis shows that working women spend significantly less time on childcare than non-working women, a disaggregated analysis of essential activities illustrates that working women spend as much time on childcare as non-working women.

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Presented in Session 145: Demographic Impacts on Parental Time with Children