Monday, July 9, 2007

The working Kenyan Mother

Struggling to wake up in the morning to go to work after waking up 3 or 4 times every night because of my 8 month old would not sleep through the night, makes me really stressed. This makes me think of many women who have decided to work leaving their babies under the care of a house help or day care (though not common in Kenya because hiring house workers is affordable to many).

Once you leave the house in your car, bus or matatu (public transport) you get caught in the jam that is very common in Nairobi now. You get to work late and your boss looks at you like whats your problem and doesn't care whether you have a baby or not. By the way its not easy to leave early like 6 or 6.30am when you have a baby and may be other kids to get to work on time. That will be like leaving before your baby wakes up, then because of transport problems, cues at the bus parks you get home late in the evening.

Sometimes I wish we would have industrial laws in Kenya that make it compulsory for companies to allow mothers to work half day until their babies are one year, but because majority of laws in this world are made by men, what to do we expect? Unless we have more women in parliament to make rules that are favourable to Women and Children, we will continue with our daily routine.

By the way children are not spared, when traffic rules where enforced (nicknamed Michuki rules), Kenya Bus fell in came Citi Hoppa. At least KBS were many and plied many routes, kids boarding buses didn't suffer because they would take KBS and allowed to stand, but after the bus company fell Citi Hoppa where not and are still not plying some routes, children whose parents cannot afford school transport and private transport suffer a lot because of being denied boarding matatus.

This takes me back to Nyayo era, although a lot has been said about bad rule, inflation etc... I believe school children were better off those days with Nyayo milk and Nyayo bus.

I would really like to avoid politics in my blog and dwell on issues affecting Women and Children in Kenya but I don't have a choice because politics affect the lives of everyone including Women and Children. So on that note we need leadership that addresses crucial issues affecting us and our children.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed women deserve recognition and support for their right to choose how to combine parenting and employment. Mothers and children are unique and that is why we should respect the wisdom of each mother to decide on how to care for the family. Together mothers are powerful

Anonymous said...

Indeed women deserve recognition and support for their right to choose how to combine parenting and employment. Mothers and children are unique and that is why we should respect the wisdom of each mother to decide on how to care for the family. Together mothers are powerful

African Women said...

Big up to all hardworking mothers. Africa loves you and so does the world.

Sociable

Kenya

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