Type of employment and under-five childcare in Mbarara District, Western Uganda.
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The main objective of this study was to assess the effect of women employment on under-five childcare in Mbarara district. It was based on the fact that there has been an increasing trend in women employment and increased stunting and malnutrition in south western Uganda where Mbarara district lies. The study was guided by specific objectives namely; to establish the effect of selected socio economic and demographic factors on under-five childcare, to establish the extent to which type of mother’s employment affect under-five childcare and to identify the existing childcare arrangements in absence of the mother in Mbarara district and their effect on childcare. The research was based on primary data that was collected from women who were employed and had under-five children in Mbarara district. Analysis was done at three levels, univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels of analysis. Selected social economic and demographic factors were examined in order to form a basis for further analysis. The study established variations between socio economic and demographic factors and under- five childcare in the area. At bivariate level, mothers age, marital status, type of employment of the mother, mother’s monthly income, hours of work, and maternity leave, were found to have a significant association with under-five childcare quality outcome. At multivariate level, marital status, mother’s age, mothers’ income, type of employment, education of the mother, residence and hours of work per day were found to have a strong association with under-five childcare quality. Mothers who are self-employed had higher odds of completing vaccinations (1.45) and six months of exclusive breast feeding (1.45) compared with mothers in the informal sector. Also mothers in formal and self-employment have lower odds of accidents status (0.88; 0.44). Mothers with higher income equal or above 400,000shs had higher odds of exclusive breastfeeding (3.24) and higher odds of completing vaccinations (2.19) compared with mothers who earn 100,000shs and below. Mothers who live in urban areas had higher odds (1.41) of completing vaccinations and increased odds (1.41) of accidents compared with mothers who live in the rural areas. Also mothers who work for less than 8-10 hours had lower odds (0.88) of completing exclusive breast feeding and mothers who worked for longer hours had increased odds (1.19) of accidents compared with mothers who work for less than 8 hours per day. Mothers who were divorced/separated/widowed/single and those cohabiting/living together had reduced odds (0.50; 0.94) of exclusive breast feeding compared with the married. Mothers who are 30 years and above had higher odds (1.22) of exclusive breast feeding compared with those aged 20-25. Mothers who had secondary and above level of education had high odds (1.38) of completing vaccinations compared with those who had no education. Therefore, to improve on under-five childcare quality, there is need to enhance the salaries of working mothers and to start up projects targeting women to enhance their income, increase on parental leave provisions, encourage voluntary sector childcare especially for the women living in urban areas and subsidized childcare facilities be provided at work places, call for spouse involvement in childcare, increase on spread of health facilities in rural areas, and encourage education to increase the age at which women start bearing children.