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GENPROM Working Paper No. 12 : Series on Gender in the Life Cycle : The Linkages Between Women's Employment, Family Welfare And Child Labour In Nepal
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In most regions of the world, a common thread runs through the fabric of women’s lives, regardless of their age. Poverty for many women and girls means not just the lack of material resources but an intrinsic inability to realize their full potential, to build their capabilities and live their lives in truly empowered and self- confident ways. Social roles prescribed for women and men from the earliest stage of life influence to a large extent how girls and boys are enabled to live. That is why a life cycle approach is crucial – people can achieve decent work, security and human dignity only if there is equality of opportunity and treatment for women and men from childhood to old age, if discrimination encountered at one stage of life is not perpetuated at later stages or gains made at one stage are not lost as people grow older, and if there is better harmonization of work and family responsibilities.
For women, whether participation in paid employment empowers them and has a positive inter-generational impact on their children, especially on their female children, hinges on a number of factors: importantly, the nature of women’s employment and their working conditions; the opportunities for using child labour in the kinds of work women are involved in; whether women are able to translate employment into control over income and resources and a greater say in decision-making within the family; how women’s working lives are affected by the presence of young children; who takes over household chores when a mother goes out to work.
To better understand the linkages between women’s employment, household dynamics and child labour from a life cycle perspective, the ILO’s Gender Promotion Programme initiated an inter-regional project spanning five countries in three regions, namely Bangladesh, India and Nepal in South Asia, Tanzania in East Africa and Nicaragua in Latin America. This report presents the findings of the survey conducted in Nepal. The women
surveyed were largely confined to work that was defined and valued in gender terms. Whether they were part of a formal enterprise, or confined to the informal economy, many worked without a contract, were unorganised and had little or no awareness of their rights. And to balance work and family responsibilities, many women opted to accept work that was home- based and unregulated or to simply take their children to work with them.
Current policies and programmes tend to address separately the problems of women’s employment and those of child labour. On the one hand, efforts to promote women’s employment often do not go on to address related factors, such as how empowerment can lead to more equal gender relations within the family, improved family welfare and, in particular, children education and their protection from labour exploitation. On the other hand, whilst long term measures to reduce child labour focus on the reduction of poverty through the promotion of adult employment, there is still limited knowledge of the most effective means to sustain family livelihoods once child labour is removed as a source of income.
ILO ,   (2003 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 ILO : International Labor & Labor
14.01.00  -  Advancement Of Women
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