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Earning Their Keep: The Productivity of Older Women and Men in Rural Bangladesh
ICDDR,B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
NVS Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
ICDDR,B, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, ISSN 0169-3816, E-ISSN 1573-0719, Vol. 25, no 1, 87-103 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In Bangladesh, being active and able to participate in productive activities is often essential to ensure ongoing health and survival. This study aims to describe and explore the patterns of participation in productive activities by older people in Matlab, a rural area of Bangladesh. Data from a cross sectional survey of people over 60 years of age was utilised. Six hundred and twenty five men and women participated in home based interviews providing information about their participation in productive activities including work, domestic activities and community groups. Overall, 94.4% of subjects reported participation in at least one productive activity. Men were the main participants in paid work and community groups, with 62% reporting engagement in paid work and 44% contributing to community groups. Both men (95.4%) and women (91.9%) reported performing at least one domestic activity. Performance of higher numbers of domestic tasks was associated with being younger, female, not requiring any assistance with self care, not married, not living with any children and earning between 100–999 Bangladesh Taka in the past month. Participation in community groups was low with only 26% of the sample reporting any involvement. This study indicates a high level of productivity in the older population in Matlab which benefits the individual, the family and the wider community. The safety and suitability of typical productive activities needs further investigation, in order to inform strategies protecting the older population from the effects of over work and harmful activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Netherlands , 2010. Vol. 25, no 1, 87-103 p.
Keyword [en]
Bangladesh, domestic activities, occupational justice, older adults, productivity, work
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-47013DOI: 10.1007/s10823-010-9109-7OAI: diva2:372630
At the time of this research, Lisa Cameron was a visiting research fellow at ICDDR,B. The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance and dedication of the field staff of Matlab Health and Demographic Surveillance System (ICDDR,B) and the expertise of the Karolinska Institutet staff in the development and implementation of this project. We are grateful to the participants for their time and involvement in this research and acknowledge the Department for International Development (DFID—United Kingdom) in providing funding for this project.Available from: 2010-11-26 Created: 2010-11-26 Last updated: 2010-12-08Bibliographically approved

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