Over the last few decades women have made rapid progress in educational attainment and have entered the labour force at a faster rate than men. However, women’s identities and workload continue to be defined around caring work, especially for their children. This paper examines the contradictions of mothers’ work-life balance. It does so through an analysis of how successfully (or unsuccessfully) professional and managerial mothers in Sri Lanka combine motherhood with paid work and how they understand this in terms of gendered identities and social norms. This example also allows an evaluation of western derived theories about mothers’ decision making in the context of a developing, Asian country. The paper demonstrates that working women’s mothering is responsible for the formation of a gendered identity which varies according to different socio-cultural and religious opportunities and constraints.
|Keywords:||Employment, Motherhood, Gender Identity, Sri Lanka|
Doctoral Student, Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
Professor, School of Social Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK
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