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Working mothers’ gender ideologies on childcare and perception on existing childcare centres: Life stories from Sri Lanka

Thilakshi Kodagoda (Department of Human Resources Management, Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 30 September 2014

902

Abstract

Purpose

This purpose of this paper is to examine how working mothers understand childcare practices and perception on existing childcare centres in a different social context like Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

A thematic analysis approach is used to analyse mothers’ narratives, drawn from in-depth qualitative interviews, along with data from some representative secondary sources.

Findings

The paper considers women professional and managerial employees in Sri Lanka, and demonstrates that working mothers use diverse childcare arrangements to harmonise their work and family life, strongly believing their own mother as the best caregiver for their small children.

Research limitations/implications

This study represented only middle-class mothers, therefore the research suggested that different mothers (professional and managerial) take their decisions differently. Based on this argument, it can be expected that mothers of different occupations are more likely to take different decisions as they believe what is “right and proper”. Thus, extensive research is warranted.

Practical implications

This paper discusses the implications while extending the geographical scope of the literature on mothers’ gender ideology on childcare and existing practices in childcare centres.

Social implications

State and private organizations should consider investments in childcare support and other flexible work options so that women continue to remain in their careers.

Originality/value

The paper extends the geographical scope of the literature on mothers’ gender ideology on childcare and existing practices in childcare centres. This would be the first research article directly focused on the impact of working mothers’ gender ideologies on childcare and perception on existing childcare centres in Sri Lanka. Thus, the present study provides a number of new research avenues for future researchers to use.

Keywords

Citation

Kodagoda, T. (2014), "Working mothers’ gender ideologies on childcare and perception on existing childcare centres: Life stories from Sri Lanka", Gender in Management, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 402-418. https://doi.org/10.1108/GM-11-2013-0134

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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