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Women’s Economic Participation, Time Use, and Access to Childcare in Urban Bangladesh (Inglês)

This study documents the labor market outcomes and time-use patterns of women in urban Bangladesh. Using survey data collected in 2018 in low-income neighborhoods of Dhaka, the paper finds that women with children aged 0–5 years have lower likelihood of labor market participation, lower likelihood of working, and lower likelihood of being an earner, compared to women with no children and women with children aged 6 years or older. While this motherhood penalty affects all mothers, those who have young children but have no access to childcare support face the largest penalty. Time-use patterns confirm these findings, indicating that mothers of young children with no access to childcare spend less time on market work, more time on unpaid work, and less time on leisure or other activities. In addition, they are more likely to perform childcare as a secondary activity along with other paid and unpaid work, which may have implications for their productivity and the quality of care provided to children. The paper proposes entry points to ease the double burden of paid and unpaid care work on mothers in urban areas, where the availability and affordability of formal childcare services is low, and community-based or other informal care arrangements are not common.

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