Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables and Figures
 Chapter 1: Summary, Conclusions,...
 Chapter 2: The National and Family...
 Chapter 3: Women's Participation...
 Chapter 4: Child Care
 Chapter 5: Health and Nutritio...
 Methodology and Research Desig...

Group Title: The burdened women : : women's work and child care in the Dominican Republic
Title: The burdened women
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080518/00001
 Material Information
Title: The burdened women women's work and child care in the Domincan Republic
Physical Description: viii, 62 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Mota, Vivian M
League of Women Voters (U.S.) -- Overseas Education Fund
Publisher: Overseas Education Fund of the League of Women Voters
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Publication Date: 1979
Subject: Children -- Care and hygiene -- Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Family -- Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Women -- Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Children -- Nutrition   ( lcsh )
Women -- Employment -- Dominican Republic   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by Vivian M. Mota.
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 61-62.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080518
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001028425
oclc - 08921074
notis - AFB0469

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page
        page i
        page ii
        page iii
        page iv
    Table of Contents
        page v
        page vi
    List of Tables and Figures
        page vii
        page viii
    Chapter 1: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter 2: The National and Family Context
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Chapter 3: Women's Participation in the Labor Force and Community
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Chapter 4: Child Care
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Chapter 5: Health and Nutrition
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Methodology and Research Design
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
Full Text




by Vivian M. Mota




by Vivian M. Mota

of the League of Women Voters
2101 L St., N.W., Suite 916
Washington, D.C. 20037

September 1979


This report is one of six country reports on the field research find-
ings and recommendations on Child Care Needs of Low Income Women in Less
Developed Countries. The project was undertaken (a) to identify child
care needs of low income families as an increasing number of women
participate in income production activities, (b) to seek child care alterna-
tives responsive to the child's socio-economic and cultural context.

Most women in less developed countries, especially in low income areas,
perform the dual role of household manager as well as income provider.
Women from low income families are farm laborers, domestic servants, market
vendors, factory workers and seamstresses for many hours a day, and then
perform necessary household tasks such as cooking, grinding grain, washing
clothes, fetching water, gathering firewood, and taking care of children.
Development programs have only recently started to look more carefully at
the specific needs of women in the many roles they play, including that of
primary dispenser of health and nutrition care for the family.

In all societies children are cared for primarily by their mothers.
Other female members of a household may help when necessary, as do some male
members depending upon cultural traditions. As the demands of economic
development increase, the need for more cash income to buy consumer goods
and services also increases. The demand for better incomes, rural to urban
migration, and the changing family structure are some of the factors which
have an impact on the type and quality of care that children (especially
those under six) receive in rural and urban areas.

This report on child care in the Dominican Republic contributes to
discovering the answers to such questions as:

(a) What are the current child care patterns of low income families?

(b) To what extent do women participate in income generation?

(c) What are the effects of child care alternatives on opportunities
for women to participate in the labor force?

(d) How is the well-being of children affected by the mother's
participation in the labor force, and how is it affected by child
care alternatives?

(e) What are low income families' needs for child care and what
alternative solutions do they recommend to fill these needs?

The project's basic research design includes the following data
instruments: household survey, literature search, and interviews with policy
makers and program planners in government, domestic and international
agencies. Details of the design as it was adapted and implemented in Santo
Domingo and Oviedo are found in the methodology section in the appendix of
this report.

Vivian M. Mota's study was originally published in April, 1979, as
"Las Mujeres Agobiadas: El Trabajo de las Mujeres y el Ciudado de los Nifos
en la Republica Dominicana." It was translated and edited by Emily DiCicco.
Additional data were included, particularly in the English version of the
chapter on health and nutrition.

In this study child care is defined as an integrated system of services
for mothers and children 0-6 years of age, including health, nutrition,
education, and "custodial" care, which is responsive to the child's social,
economic and cultural context. These services are usually provided in the
absence of the mother while she is working or otherwise occupied. Work is
defined as income generating activities, in the home or outside, that lead
to income in cash and/or kind.

We are grateful to the Office of Nutrition, Agency for International
Development, for funding the project and for continuous commitment to it.*
We appreciate the cooperation extended by Dominican government officials,
local and international agency personnel and everyone who in one way or
another helped personally and professionally during the course of this study.

We are particularly indebted to Vivian Mota for the analysis and
collection of data. Special appreciation is given to the mothers who
generously gave of their time and opinions.

It is hoped that the findings of this study and the emerging recommenda-
tions will make a significant contribution towards policy and program
development to meet the needs identified by the low income mothers.

For the Overseas Education Fund:

Willie Campbell, President

Elise Smith, Executive Director

Emily DiCicco, Project Director and
Field Work Coordinator for Latin America

*The view and interpretations in this publication are those of the
author and should not be attributed to the AID or any individual on its


The present study has been possible due to the women interviewed, who
so generously gave their time and opinions, and the Overseas Education Fund
of the League of Women Voters, which sponsored the study.

A series of persons collaborated in the various stages of what up
until today was just a project. From beginning to end I have been able to
depend upon friendship and collaboration of Gianna Sangiovanni, who assisted
in the interviewing in the rural area and in the coding.

The field work supervision was ably handled by Radhames Pina; the
interviewers were Ana Lajara, Cleo de la Cruz and Iris Mejia.

Sheila Kunhardt de Bobadilla and Maria Elena Cordova assisted at all

Manolo and Michel were always beside me.

I thank them all for their collaboration, trusting that what began more
than a year ago will find in these pages its real beginning for the well-being
of the over burdened women and of their children.

Page iv


PREFACE . . . . . .



Summary . . . .
Conclusions . . . .
Recommendations . . .


The Dominican Family . .


4 CHILD CARE . . . .




* *


. o .

. .

. .


. *


Page vi



2-1 Age Groups of Women Surveyed, Santo Domingo and Oviedo. . 8
2-2 Marital Status of Women, Santo Domingo and Oviedo . 8
2-3 Number of Children Per Woman and Number of Resident Children,
Santo Domingo . . . . . 9
2-4 Children 6 Years and Younger, Per Woman, Santo Domingo
and Oviedo. . . . .... . . 9
2-5 Persons Per Household, Santo Domingo. . . ... 10

3-1 Total and Economically Active Population by Sex and Age
Group, Mid 1975, Dominican Republic . . .... 14
3-2 Labor Force Participation of Women, by Age Group, Santo
Domingo . . . .... .. . 15
3-3 Labor Force Participation of Women Currently Working or Who
Have Worked in Last 12 Months, by Age Group, Santo
Domingo . . . .. . . 16
3-4 Occupations of Men and Women, Santo Domingo . ... 17
3-5 Monthly Income, Santo Domingo . . . ... 18
3-6 Daily Hours of Work of Women, Santo Domingo . . .. 18
3-7 Work Week of Women, Santo Domingo . . .... 19
3-8 Domestic Tasks, Santo Domingo . . . .... 19
3-9 Women's Reasons for Unemployment, Santo Domingo . ... 20
3-10 Type of Work Desired by Women, Santo Domingo. . ... 20
3-11 Level of Instruction, Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
and Oviedo . .. .. ... ........... ..... 21
3-12 Benefits to Children of Mothers' Participation in the
Community Santo Domingo . . . . ... 22

4-1 Care of Children 6 Years and Younger, Santo Domingo . .. .25
4-2 Caretakers' Tasks for Children under 6 Years and Younger,
Santo Domingo . . . . ... . .26
4-3 Monthly Cost of Child Care Services, Santo Domingo. . ... 27
4-4 Advantages of Current Form of Child Care, Santo Domingo . 27
4-5 Disadvantages of Current Form of Child Care, Santo Domingo. 28
4-6 Reasons for Not Using Child Care Center Services, Santo
Domingo . . . .. ... .. .28
4-7 Mothers' Opinion of Child Care Centers, Santo Domingo .... .30
4-8 Mothers' Opinion of What Is Needed in Order to Place
Children in a Child Care Center, Santo Domingo. . .. .30
4-9 Mothers' Preference for Child Care, Santo Domingo ...... 31
4-10 Reasons for Preference of Caretaker, Santo Domingo. . ... 31
4-11 Preferred Hours of a Child Care Center, Santo Domingo .... .32
4-12 Responsibility for Cost of Child Care Center, Santo Domingo 32


4-13 Participation of User/Mothers in a Child Care Center,
Santo Domingo . . . . . 33
4-14 Wives' Opinions of Husbands' Assistance in Household Tasks,
Santo Domingo . . . ... . .33

5-1 Consumption of Food in Diets of Children 0-4 Years of Age,
National District . .. . ... . .. 36
5-2 Mothers Who Breast-Fed Youngest Child, Santo Domingo .... 37
5-3 Mothers' Reasons for Weaning, Santo Domingo . ... 38
5-4 Age of Introduction of Supplementary Food to Youngest Child,
Santo Domingo . . . . ... . .38
5-5 Children's Daily Meals, Santo Domingo . . .... .39
5-6 Children's Illnesses in the Preceding Fifteen Days,
Santo Domingo . . . . .... .39
5-7 Youngest Child Is Vaccinated, Santo Domingo . ... 40
5-8 Doses of Vaccination Received by Youngest Child, Santo
Domingo . . . . ... .... .40


2-1 Map of the West Indies. . . . ... .. 6

4-1 Labor Force Participation of Women, by Age Group, Santo
Domingo . . . . ... . . .16





In the Dominican Republic, the participation of low income women in the
development process is seriously limited by a variety of structural factors.
These include a low educational and technical level, poor health and
nutrition, large family size, and limited participation in the labor force,
the community and the political process. An additional limiting factor
is women's responsibility to provide support and care for children, most
crucially those six years of age and younger.

This study presents information on the current patterns and child care
needs of 300 low income women in urban Santo Domingo and 40 low income women
in the rural community of Oviedo. The study seeks to determine the effects
of current child care forms on the labor force participation of women and
on the well-being of children. The third objective of the study is to present
women's needs and recommendations of alternatives which meet these needs.

The main problems of women are closely related to the general conditions
of underdevelopment of the country. Unemployment and under-employment are
the principal limitations to the integration of women in the development
process, although these are by no means the only factors. The extensive
poverty, malnutrition and poor health, as well as educational deficiencies
are co-causes of the situation of women.

Within this framework, nevertheless, it is possible to think of
strategies to be taken by women, which would require the collaborative
assistance of the government, private entities and the women themselves.


1. Low income mothers of young children are in a moment in their lives in
which they have experienced the vicissitudes of poverty, and they have
certain expectations about their own futures and those of their children.
The women are young and receptive to innovation, and their aspirations
are usually positive.

2. The average number of children per interviewed woman was not as high as
the national average, because in most cases the families would not be
considered completed. The youth of the children (39% of the women in
Santo Domingo had 2 children six years of age or younger, likewise for

33% of the women in Oviedo) indicates a burden for the women, who in
this culture are responsible for their care and attention.

3. The socio-economic and environmental conditions of the families of the
interviewed women offer an explanation for the causes of the difficulty
that women encounter in caring for young children, and giving them the
opportunity for good health and nutrition and an adequate education.

4. Unemployment characterizes the interviewed women of Santo Domingo.
Only 23% of them are working, the majority of them in the "service"
sector, receiving less than US$ 50 monthly.* Of these working women,
more than half have jobs outside the home.

5. Although 78% of the interviewed women of the rural zone were working,
mostly in agriculture, the work available is seasonal and is done in
exploitive conditions. The pay for work is so low that even when
combined with the spouse's income, household income is less than
US$ 50 per month.

6. Education and training are viewed by women as mediums to obtain work, or
obtain a better job. A considerable percentage of the women see the
scarcity of employment opportunities as a consequence of a system which
cannot be transformed by individuals.

7. The home and the children are the major responsibilities of women, and
to them they dedicate some two-thirds of their time. The social /
relations network of women consists of older daughters, other female
relatives and female friends and neighbors. This network is the
greatest help that mothers have in doing household chores, and above all,
in caring for young children.

8. The child care system in the Dominican Republic and specifically Santo
Domingo, is insufficient, in that it covers less than 1% of population
0-8 years of age. On the other hand, the services currently offered
are precarious. The monthly cost is about US$ 50 per month, the personnel
are not adequately trained, the buildings are in poor condition, the
registration is greater than capacity, and educational programs are
lacking. Four percent of the 4-6 year olds attend preschools, but
these are costly and do not necessarily meet needs of low-income
working mothers.

9. In spite of the existence of non-institutional patterns of child care,
which appear in response to the scarcity and precariousness of the
current institutional services, it is evident that the interviewed women
desire child care centers and/or other services designed to meet the
mothers' and children's needs.

*One Dominican peso equals one US dollar at the official rate; there is
a fluctuating parallel market.

10. Malnutrition is a serious problem in the Dominican Republic, where 27%
of the preschool children of middle and low income families are 2nd
and 3rd degree malnourished. Mothers attempt to provide better conditions
for their children by working, but their income is insufficient to make
a substantial difference.


1. Although the installation of new and appropriate services of child care
does not assure that women will be able to find work, such services
would be an important contribution to reaching this goal. On the one
hand, they permit time to be available for women to look for work, with
the confidence that their children are being well cared for physically
and mentally. On the other hand, child care services can help reduce
the incidence of labor force desertion, which is so great among women,
due to children. Finally, these services may contribute to the
incorporation of the female worker into the community, unions and the
political process.

2. Child care services should be neighborhood-based, community controlled,
full-day care, and government funded. Child care services should be
part of the employers' obligation. Child care services should be provided
for both male and female personnel.

3. Although women in the rural area do not necessarily require the "custodial"
aspect of child care to the extent that urban mothers do, they recommend
services for the educational development and nutritional status of their

4. The creation of employment opportunities is desperately needed by women,
and the compensation must be equal to that earned by men. Women must be
trained in skills to meet labor force demands.

5. Women's organizations should be encouraged to help women address their
needs. Leadership training should be given to promote women as initiators
in their communities.

6. In nutrition education recognition should be given to the efficient use
of the food budget by low income women, and this efficiency should be

7. Agricultural education efforts should be expanded to actively encourage
women's participation as a means of improving the earning potential of
low income families.

8. Women must be recognized in public policy and programs as contributors
to the national development, rather than dependents. Women are a resource
too valuable to waste.

Page 4



Discovered by Columbus in 1492, the Dominican Republic was the first
colony of the New World and preserves the Spanish heritage in language and
culture. With an area of 48,442 square kilometers (18,700 square miles),
it shares with Haiti the island of Hispaniola, occupying the eastern two-
thirds of the second largest of the Greater Antilles in the West Indies.

The Dominican Republic is a relatively young country, although with a
turbulent history. It acquired its independence from Haiti in 1844; has
undergone three invasions--Spain in 1861, United States in 1916 and 1965; and
survived the three generation-tyranny from 1930 to 1961. With Trujillo's
death the country was opened to a democratic form of government, but the
path has been plagued with obstacles.

Development is seriously limited by many structural problems which are
reflected in the social inequality, underdevelopment, and dependence which
characterize the country.' These structural problems include unequal income
distribution, land tenure patterns, and a low standard of living of the

The national economy is predominantly agrarian, and depends heavily on
sugar cane production, which occupies nearly half of the better agricultural
land and accounts for about half of the export receipts.

Although in the last few years the country has had a high economic
growth, the great majority of the population have not benefitted. A study
by the International Labour Office notes that some one-third of the families
of Santo Domingo receive monthly incomes of less than 60 pesos (about
US$ 60), which is the current minimum wage. This amount the ILO considers
to be the "poverty line," adding that among rural families, approximately
half have incomes (including production for self-consumption) that are
lower than this poverty line. This means, in a few words, that the
income is concentrated in a very few hands, and this has a great effect on
a considerable sector of the population. In order to survive, these persons
must go into debt, and/or must reduce their consumption level, and their
general standard of living.

The Dominican Republic has a youthful population. The 1978 population
was estimated at 5 million, of which half were 0-14 years of age, and 24% were
0-6 years of age.3 Rapid population distribution changes have taken place
in recent years, as internal migration from rural to urban areas has proceeded


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at a high and steady rate. Census figures indicate that between 1960 and
1970 the urban population increased by over 600,000, more than twice the
increase of rural areas. Women outnumber men as migrants 1.2 to 1.4

The present population is mainly a mixture of white and Negro races.
Census figures for 1970 show the population to be 73% mulatto (Afro-
European), 16% white (mostly of Spanish origin), and 11% Negro, with a small
number of Arab and Chinese descent.

The census lists about 98% of the population as Roman Catholic, with
the remaining 2% as Protestant. Large numbers of the population, however,
are not active participants in formal religion.

The city of Santo Domingo is the national capital and chief seaport.
The population is over 1,000,000. It has many of the original Spanish
colonial buildings in the heart of the city, and the periphery is expanding
rapidly with low income neighborhoods. The urban sample of 300 mothers was
taken in 23 neighborhoods (see methodology in the appendix).

According to the 1970 Census, 51% of the Dominican Republic population
is female, and the majority of these live in rural areas (58% vs 42% urban).
The ruran sample of 40 women was taken in the community of Oviedo, in the
province of Pedernales in the southwestern region of the country (1970
population, 12,382; 1979 estimated population, 17,708).

The southwestern region has 13% of the total population of the country,
but goods and services do not reach this region in equal proportion. Forty-
two percent of the population is illiterate, and infant mortality is 18%--
both figures are the highest of any region in the country. It is estimated
there are some 95,000 malnourished children in the area. The southwest has
the greatest deficiencies in potable water, sewers, housing and medical and
paramedical personnel.

The Dominican Family

To be included in the sample surveyed, the low income women had to
have at least one child six years of age or younger (see methodology
section). The average age of the women was 29 years in Santo Domingo, 27
in Oviedo. Fifty-eight percent were under 30 in Santo Domingo, 70% in Oviedo.

For the objectives of this study, the "de jure" marital status of the
women was not important. The "de facto" marital status is shown in Table 2-2.
Eighty-four percent of the women had a male companion, although the stability
of these unions was not studied. Of these 252 unions, 10 women declared that
their spouses did not usually live with them, for the following reasons:
works far from home (2), lives in another country (2), does not work and
cannot maintain a home (2), has another woman (3), other reason (1).

The actual head of the household was not identified in our study.
Belcher found in his study of household composition in the Dominican Republic
that 30% of urban households were female-headed, compared to 19% of rural


Age Group Santo Domingo Oviedo
Number % Number %

15 19 12 4.0 6 15.0
20 24 66 22.0 12 30.0
25 29 97 32.3 10 25.0
30 34 50 16.7 5 12.5
35 39 42 14.0 4 10.0
40 44 26 8.7 2 5.0
45 or more 6 2.0 1 2.5
Not known I 0.3 0 0.0

Total 300 100% 40 100%

SOURCE: Author's data


Marital Status Santo Domingo Oviedo
Number % Number %

Currently united 252 84.0 40 100.0
Widowed, divorced,
separated 41 13.7 0 0.0
Single, never
united 7 2.3 0 0.0

Total 300 100% 40 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

households. He also observed a
Dominican family.6

strong patriarchal character in the rural

The average number of (live) children per woman interviewed in Santo
Domingo was two, as shown in Table 2-3. In Santo Domingo, 59.6% of the women
had 1-3 children; 33.6% had 4-6 children; and 6.7% had 7 children or more.
The Oviedo women have more children: 45% have 1-3; 27.5% have 4-6; and 27.5%
have 7 or more (N = 18, 11, 11 respectively).

The number of children residing with the women in Santo Domingo is
also shown in Table 2-3. Sixty-three percent have 1-3 children; 32% had
4-6 children; and 5% had 7 or more residing with them.

For this study, the most important figure regarding family size is the
number of preschool aged children, those six years and younger, as seen in


Number of Children
per Woman
Number %

Number of Resident
Children per Woman
Number %

1 child
2 children
3 children
4 children
5 children
6 children
7 children
8 children
9 children
10 children or more

Total number of women









SOURCE: Author's data

Table 2-4. Although the previous table showed an average of 3 children per
household, the following table shows an average of two preschool aged
children, a high figure considering the time that young children require
of their mothers.


Santo Domingo
Number %

Number %

1 child 132 44.0 22 55.0
2 children 116 38.7 13 32.5
3 children 39 13.0
4 children 12 4.0 5 12.5
5 children 1 0.3

Total number
of women 300 100% 40 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

It is common to find children in the family who were not necessarily
sons or daughters of either parent. The Santo Domingo women were asked if
they were raising adopted children (under six years of age). Eight
percent responded affirmatively, and of these, 23 women had I adopted child,

and 2 women had 2 adopted children. (The legality of the adoption was not

Finally, the household size of the Santo Domingo sample is shown in
Table 2-5. Fifty-four percent of the households are composed of six persons
or more. The average number of persons per household is 6.2, which is higher
than the national average of 5.3 persons, according to the 1970 National
Census and the average of 5.1 found for Santo Domingo in the PADCO-Borrell
study. However, a study of households in Santo Domingo done by the Central
Bank found data very similar to ours.7


Number of Number %

2 persons 2 0.7
3 persons 25 8.3
4 persons 56 18.7
5 persons 54 18.0
6 persons 47 15.7
7 persons 36 12.0
8 persons 27 9.0
9 persons 26 8.7
10 persons or more 27 9.0

Total 300 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

In Oviedo, the number of persons per household is larger. Thirty-five
percent of the families have 2-5 persons, 62.5% have 6-9 persons, and
2.5% have 10 persons or more (N = 14, 21, 1, respectively).

The housing conditions of the surveyed low income families are, in
general, adequate. They have basic services of water, electricity, refuse
disposal, etc., although it was not possible to determine the regularity
nor the quality of such services. Sixty-seven percent of the homes have
running water inside the home. Ninety-seven percent have electricity, and
76% have refuse collection systems. Sixty-two percent of the homes have
vehicular access, and 38% are reached only on foot. Rain makes access very

With this introduction to the setting of the study, and a description
of the family structure encountered in the sample, attention is now focused
on the labor force participation of women in the Dominican Republic and
the mothers of Santo Domingo and Oviedo in particular.


1We do not understand "development" to be the model currently found,
which takes into consideration almost exclusively the economic variable,
and defines "development" as "economic growth." Development is a process,
of which economic growth is a factor, "through which material and social
improvements may enrich the life of the great majority." See: Mary P.
Burke, "La Mujeres y la Economla Mundial: Algunas Sugerencias para un
Papel mas Creativo de la Mujer en el Desarrollo Internacional." Ciencia y
Sociedad, 11: 2 (July-December 1977), p. 108.

2Presidency of the Republic, Technical Secretariat, National Planning
Office, Bases para Formular una Politica de Empleo para la Republica
Dominicana, PLANDES 19. Santo Domingo: National Planning Office, 1974,
p. XI.

3Presidency of the Republic, Technical Secretariat, National Statistical
Office, Republica Dominicana en Cifras, 1978. Santo Domingo: National
Statistical Office, 1978, Table 211-05.

4See Miguel A. Heredia and Vivian M. Mota, Recursos Humanos, Politica
de Empleo y Poblacion en Republica Dominicana. Serie Documentos, no. 11.
Santo Domingo: Asociacion Dominicana Pro Bienestar de la Familia, 1975
and PLANDES 19, p. 59.

5Presidency of the Republic, Technical Secretariat, National Planning
Office. Plan de Desarrollo Regional del Suroeste 1979-1982: Documento de
Trabajo. Santo Domingo: National Planning Office. November 1978, pp. 10, 11.

6Belcher, John C. "Household Composition in the Dominican Republic."
Mimeographed, no date.

Planning and Development Collaborative International (PADCO) and
Borrell, Estudio sobra la Situacion Urbana de Santo Domingo. Santo Domingo,
1978, III, p. 57. Central Bank, National Statistical Office, and USAID,
Estudio sobre Presupuestos Familiares, vol. 1. Santo Domingo: Central Bank,
1971, p. 12.

Page 12




The participation of women in the labor force and in the community is
limited by many factors outside the control of the women themselves. This
chapter seeks to determine the extent to which women are employed and what
their attitudes are toward working. It also discusses their educational
preparation which in part determines the jobs they are able to find and
their mobility within the labor force.

According to an ILO study, in February 1973, the unemployment figure
for Santo Domingo was 20%, but the incidence among various population
groups was very unequal: two times greater for women than for men (30%
vs 15%).1

However, in urban areas between 1960-1970, the female labor force
increased by 8.5%; the male labor force increased by 5.1%. But in 1975,
men represented 88.2% of the labor force (15-64 years of age), women 12.2%.
Although industry has employed more women since 1969, especially in the
"free zone" areas, women occupy those positions of lowest technological
level, and lowest pay. The wages are less than US$ 60 a month, which is
less than the average industrial wage, and is right at the poverty-line.2

In general, the female worker is employed in exploitative conditions
for low wages. For example, exploitation of women in domestic service
was documented in a 1969 study which found that 50% of the domestics
received less than US$ 15 per month.3 The informality of the agreement
between a domestic and the employer makes it difficult for the domestic
to demand laborer benefits such as social security. On the other hand,
the large labor supply and the absence of unions puts domestics practically
at the mercy of the employers.

Of the national female labor force, some 29% are occupied in rural areas-
in agricultural tasks, including fishing, manual labor, handcrafts, and
orchards. The rural labor force greatly fluctuates with the season. Women
and children are vital members of the labor force during the harvest season.
Nevertheless, even in the off-season, women's contributions to the family
economy are important.

In both urban and rural areas, and for both men and women, under-
employment is a severe problem. "Around 60% of the currently employed
workers in Santo Domingo could be considered underemployed to a greater

or lesser degree, due to the nature of their work, the fluctuating quantity
of their activities and income, the number of hours that they work per
week, or the fact that they earn less than in previous work."4

Many women try to help the family income by street-vending--they buy
a few fruits one day and try to s1ll them door to door the next day--
earning perhaps US$ 3-5 per week.

Of the population 15-646 in the Dominican Republic (1975), 12.2% of the
women are economically active, compared to 82.2% of the men (see Table 3-1).
The age group of women with the greatest percentage of economic activity
is 20-24 years, with 13.7% of the women working.



% of Men % of Women % of Total
Age Economically Economically Population
Active Active Economically

15 19 61.6 8.9 35.5
20 24 92.2 13.7 53.3
25 44 97.9 13.5 55.9
45 54 96.9 12.0 53.9
55 64 92.5 9.9 50.8

Total 88.2 12.2 50.2

SOURCE: International Labour
Statistics 1978. Geneva: ILO
Banco Central de la Republica

Office. Yearbook of Labour
1978.- (Original source:
Dominicana, Boletin Mensual.)

Our survey of low income women in Santo Domingo used a liberal
definition of work--any activity which produced income or payment in kind.
Twenty-three percent of the women interviewed in Santo Domingo are currently
working and 78% of the women of Oviedo are working.

To graphically present the case in Santo Domingo:

Women surveyed (N = 300)

Never worked (N = 160) Have worked at any time (N = 140)

Currently wo
(N = 69)

Have worked in Mo
rking last 12 months month
(N = 20) (N

re than 12
s not working
= 51)

An important observation of the labor force participation of the women
surveyed is the difference in participation according to age groups, as
shown in Table 3-1 and Figure 3-2. It can be seen that women in the 45
and older age group have the greatest rate of participation (67%), followed
by the 40-44 age group. These findings contradict the observed tendency
in Latin America, that the younger women have the greatest labor force
participation,I but may be explained in two ways: 1) the opportunities in
the occupational structure are concentrated in poorly paid, low status jobs,
which are more appealing to older women than to younger women; and 2) family
responsibilities, specifically children, are not a limitation to older women,
who have additional older family members to assist them in domestic chores.


Age Never Have Worked More Than 12 Currently Working/
Group (N = 160) Months Not Working Have Worked in
(N = 51) Last 12 Months
(N = 89)

15 19 58% 17% 25%
20 24 65 11 24
25 29 53 20 28
30 34 48 22 30
35 39 55 17 29
40 44 42 12 46
45+ 17 17 67
No answer 0 100 0

SOURCE: Author's data

Nevertheless, looking only at the women who are currently working or
employed in the last 12 months, the 25-29 cohort has the greatest
participation, followed by women 20-24 years, and the least is 15-19 years
(Table 3-3).

In Oviedo, 78% of the women are economically active. Eighty-six
percent of these work in various agricultural tasks, particularly the
harvesting of cotton and peanuts. Fourteen percent of the working women
are active in small scale commerce or government office work. The female
agricultural laborers walk an average of two hours per day to reach the
fields and return home. The harvesting period lasts about four months. To
harvest five kilograms of cotton, they average nine hours of work per day
in the hot tropical sun, six days a week, earning $1.50 per day. The women
who did not work (22%) were the wives of the men of better economic position
in the community.

In Santo Domingo the most frequent occupation among the surveyed women
was "services," followed by "vendors." Table 3-4 shows that 78.6% of the
female labor force surveyed is in the service sector. These workers


S/MiM have never worked
llNllmore than 12 months not working
c AA currently working, or have worked
in last 12 months


Age Group Number

15 19 3 3.4
20 24 16 18.0
25 29 27 30.3
30 34 15 16.9
35 39 12 13.5
40 44 12 13.5
45+ 4 4.5

Total 89 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

included domestics, laundresses, day maids, babysitters, cooks, etc.
vendors are primarily women in small stands and street vendors. The
number of clerks in commercial establishments was small.

The third group is composed of women in nontechnical administra-
tive posts, such as receptionists and telephone operators. Of those



Occupation Men Women
Number % Number %

Group I Professionals, technicians 7 2.8 6 4.3
Group II Directors, public employees 2 0.8 0 0.0
Group III Administrative personnel 9 3.6 17 12.1
Group IV Merchants, vendors 43 17.1 20 14.3
Group V Service workers 18 7.1 73 52.1
Group VI Agricultural laborers 3 1.2 0 0.0
Group VII Mining, seamstresses, tailors 6 2.4 16 11.4
Group VIII Mechanics, shoemakers 36 14.3 1 0.7
Group IX Painters, factory laborers
carpenters 96 38.1 7 5.0
Group X Army, police 21 8.3 0 0.0
Occupation poorly defined 5 2.0 0 0.0
No answer 6 2.4 0 0.0

Total 252 100% 140 100%

SOURCE: Author's data, categorized by standard

international labor

in the seamstress group, the majority work in the home.

The men in Santo Domingo are most commonly employed as factory laborers,
or tradesmen, including carpenters, painters, mechanics, cobblers (Groups
IX and VIII), followed by vendors (Group IV), who are largely in retail
food markets or small home-based stands.

Ninety-five percent of the men in Oviedo are involved in agriculture.
Most work on the cotton plantations, and also on a small plot of land for
family subsistence (helped by other family members). Five percent of the
men are mechanics or truck drivers.

The low salaries and uncertain nature of work of persons surveyed in
Santo Domingo is shown in Table 3-5. A great many (38.1%) of the men have
variable incomes. Most of the women have very low incomes and earn considerably
less than men. Sixty-three percent of the women earn less than $50 per month
or have an irregular income.

In the rural area, 67% of t9e
the remaining 33% earn $100-199.
incomes because they had just sold

men earn less than US$ 50 per month, and
Two men of the latter group had high
animals they had hunted.

Of the 89 women of Santo Domingo employed currently or having worked during
the last-12 months, more than half (56%) did their work outside the home. Of the
69 who currently work, 50.7% (N = 35) are employed outside the home, 46.4%
(N = 32) work inside the home, and 2.9% (N = 2) do not have an exact location.



Monthly Income Men Women
Number Number

Less than $50 1 0.4 37 41.6
$50 $99 17 6.7 16 18.0
$100 $199 65 25.8 14 15.7
$200 $299 30 11.9 2 2.2
$300 $399 10 4.0 1 1.1
$400 $499 5 2.0 0 0.0
$500 or more 1 0.4 0 0.0
Variable income 96 38.1 19 21.3
No answer 27 10.7 0 0.0

Total 252 100% 89 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

The majority of women work at least a half a day to more than a full
day, five to seven days a week (Tables 3-6 and 3-7).


Hours Worked Daily Number %

Less than I hour 1 1.1
1 4 hours 16 18.0
5 8 hours 41 46.1
More than 8 hours 24 27.0
Variable 7 7.9

Total 89 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

In questioning those women not currently employed, nearly all (90.9%)
said they would like to be working. Their unemployment is not due to
personal disinterest in work, but rather to the nonexistence of job
opportunities and/or constraints on their finding work. In the latter case,
children and domestic responsibilities are important factors.

When asked who is responsible for domestic tasks (other than child care),
the majority of the currently working women responded that they themselves are
responsible, as seen in Table 3.8. Very few women are able to hire additional
help, in spite of the low salaries earned by domestic service.




Days Worked Weekly Number %

1 day 2 2.2
2 days 8 9.0
3 days 4 4.5
4 days 8 9.0
5 days 17 19.1
6 days 22 24.7
7 days 20 22.5
Variable 8 9.0

89 100%
SOURCE: Author's data



Person Number %

Mother, before or after work 22 30.9
A family member 19 26.8
The children 3 4.2
Domestic service 3 4.2
Mother, woman works in the home 24 33.8

71 99.9

Although the household time budget was not part of this study, it is
doubtful whether the Dominican case differs much from the Mexican. Women
without domestic help, as in the case of the Dominican women interviewed,
gave 36 hours per week to household tasks if they did not have children;
75 hours with a child under one year; and 77 hours with four children ages
six to ten.9

The unemployed women were asked why they are not working. The most
frequent answer was "cannot find work," followed by "there is no one to
take care of the children" (Table 3-9).

It is interesting to note the response given of "husband's disapproval"
(10.8%). The women were also asked "What does your husband think of your
work outside the home?" Although 39% said "He likes it because we need
the money," 30% said the husband "does not like it, but we need the money."
In total, 45% of the women declared that for one reason or another, their
husbands disapproved.



Reason Number %

Cannot find work 98 42.4
No one to care for children 60 26.0
Husband's disapproval 25 10.8
Poor health 12 5.2
No one for domestic chores 11 4.8
Insufficient education/preparation 11 4.8
No need 10 4.3
Believe women should not work outside the home 4 1.7

Total 231 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

In Table 3-10, the type of work desired by the women is shown. Although
the most frequent answer is for services work, none of the women want
domestic service. They specified that they want to work in hospitals,
businesses or other institutions. These women reject traditional employ-
ment in favor of that which offers social security benefits and some stability.
The same can be said for the 23.8% who desire work in a factory. Industrial
work seems to offer advantageous status, salary, social security and other
benefits. Nearly a fifth of the women responded that they are willing to

TABLE 3-10


Occupation Number %

Teacher 1 0.5
Private service, janitor 56 26.7
Office worker, secretary 21 10.0
Cashier, sales clerk, seamstress,
beautician 20 9.5
Nurse 8 3.8
Factory worker 50 23.8
Anything 39 18.6
No response 15 7.1

Total 210* 100%

SOURCE: Author's data
*This represents women answering "Yes" to the question,
"Would you like to work?"


accept "anything." Rather than indicating a lack of awareness about
occupational possibilities, this response primarily indicates the need
to work at anything in order to augment the family budget.

The women are well aware that their low educational preparation limits
opportunities for higher status jobs, and their aspirations are consistent
with the reality they face. Desiring work is one thing, and being able to
compete for the few jobs available is quite another thing, as the low income
women testified. In most cases, they do not have the education required to
compete for jobs that are available or worth their time. Thirty-two percent
of the population of the Dominican Republic is illiterate, and of these,
34% are women. Rural women have higher rates of illiteracy than urban women.
It should be noted that the illiteracy rate dropped from 1960 to 1970.

As can be seen in Table 3-11, the national averages for men and women
are fairly close, but there is a great difference between the national
averages and the survey samples, i.e. 42.8% vs 15% with no schooling. This
may be attributed to the different age group in the national study compared
to our study. In the national data, all women 25 years and older were
considered, whereas in our study the average age was 29 in Santo Domingo
and 27 in Oviedo. Our sample could be expected to have a higher educational
level than all women of an older age group.


Educational 1970 1978 1978
Level Dominican Republic(a) Santo Domingo(b) Oviedo(b)
,% %
Total Pop. Women % %

No schooling 40.1 42.8 15.0* 15*
Primary school 45.9 44.8 69.0 83
Secondary school 9.6 8.7 11.3 2
Higher education 1.9 1.3 0.7 0
Still attending
primary 2.0 0
Still attending
secondary 1.0 0
Still attending
university 1.0 0

Total 97.5 97.6 100% 100%

SOURCES: (a) UNESCO. Statistical Yearbook 1977. Paris: UNESCO, 1978,
p. 55, data for persons 25 years or older.
(b) Author's data
*Includes women who never attended school or who began but did not finish
the first year of primary school.

The women of the survey were asked if they had received any additional
training. Eighty-one percent had not (N = 242) while 19% had
(N = 58). Of the latter, 40% (N = 23) had been trained as secretaries; the
others had been trained in sewing (21%), nursing (16%), and commerce (7%),
or in more than one area (9%).

Related to women's role in the labor force is their participation in
their communities. Eighty-four percent (N = 258) of the women in Santo Domingo
declared that they did not participate in community activities. Of the fourteen
percent who do (N = 42), twenty said that their children benefitted, particularly
in the education and health care the women learn (see Table 3-12).


Benefits Number %

Education and care, because these things
are discussed in meetings 8 40.0
Health, because children are cared for
and mothers are taught how to care
for their health 6 30.0
They teach mothers how to entertain their
children 1 5.0
Various 3 15.0
No response 2 10.0

Total 20 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

The non-participation of women in community activities cannot be taken
as an indication of apathy. Most community organizations in the Dominican
Republic are led by men and address problems that men want resolved. This
is particularly true of union activities. The structure of community and
union organizations does not encourage women's participation.

As has been seen in this chapter, the workload that women carry is
enormous. They must add many hours at home in their domestic routine to their
long hours of remunerated activity. These domestic tasks are essential to
the survival of the proletariat family. The house must be clean, the clothes
washed, the food prepared, and the children cared for. These tasks are all
necessary for the reproduction of the labor force, but are not paid labor.10

It is apparent that lack of opportunity is the major obstacle to women's
participation in the labor force, in the community or in political efforts
to change their lives. Women lack opportunities to find employment, to learn
new skills, to care for their children, and to express their concerns. Were
these opportunities to materialize, women's participation would increase
dramatically and a valuable resource would not continue to be wasted.



presidency of the Republic, Technical Secretariat, National Planning
Uffice, Bases para Formular una Politica de Empleo para la Republica
Dominicana, PLANDES 19 (Santo Domingo: National Planning Office, 1974,
p. XI.

Gregorio Lanz, "Servicio Domestico; Una Nueva Esclavitud?" Estudios
Sociales, 11: 4(8), 1969, pp. 197-207.

PLANDES 19, p. 36.

5Trigueros Mejia, Rafael, "El Desempleo y el Subempleo en las Areas
Rurales en la Republica Dominicana," Eme-Eme IV:19 (July-August) 1975, p. 114.

6The International Labour Office included persons under 15 and over
65 in their calculation of the economically active population. Including
these groups lowers the total labor force participation rate to 26.5%;
the rate for all men is 46.3% and 6.3% for all females. These groups
(under 15, over 65) were omitted from Table 3-1 in our report in order
to present data of comparable age cohort to our survey data.

7See: Demografia y Economia, vol. 12: 1(34), 1978.

For other studies of income, see the Banco Central, Oficina Nacional
de Estadistica and USAID, Estudio sobre Presupuestos Familiares, vol. 1,
Santo Domingo: Banco Central, 1971, and PADCO-Borrell, Estudio sobre la
Situation Urbana de Santo Domingo, 1978.

M. Teresita de Barbieri, "Notas para el Estudio del Trabajo de las
Mujeres: El Probleme del Trabajo Domestico." Demografia y Economia,
vol. XIl:1(34), 1978, p. 134.

10Wally Secombe, "The Housewife and Her Labour under Capitalism."
New Left Review, (83), 1973, p. 4.

Page 24



In this study, "child care" is defined as an integrated system of
services for mothers and children 0-6 years of age, including health,
nutrition, education, and "custodial" care, which is responsive to the
family's social, economic and cultural context.

Closely related to child care are the services in preschool education,
with the difference that preschools usually take children in the two years
prior to entering school, and they usually have half day sessions. Although
they may provide many educational benefits to the child, preschools are not
necessarily designed to cope with the needs of working women.

Legislation for preschools was enacted in 1966, but the offer of
services has been very limited. In 1976, 4% of the 4-5 year old children
were attending preschools.1 Most of the preschools are privately operated
and too costly for the majority of the population.

The focus of this chapter is on the broader system of care for children.
Since rural women are sporadically employed, depending on the agricultural
cycle, children are cared for by the mother herself or family members when
very young, or are often taken with the mother to the fields (see Table 4-1).
As soon as the child is able to work he/she joins the rural family labor force.


Caretaker Santo Domingo Oviedo
Number % %

Mother only 181 60.3 11%
Mother and older sibling 47 15.7 33%
Mother and other female relative 12 4.0 17%
Grandmother of children 14 4.7 28%
Other relative 21 7.0
Friend or neighbor 3 1.0 11%
Children left alone 1 0.3
Father 2 0.7
Domestic servant 3 1.0
Older sibling 9 3.0
Other 7 2.3
Total 300 100% 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

In Santo Domingo, mothers have the overall responsibility for their
children, and in 60% of the cases they are the only person who takes care of
them (see Table 4-1). The other 40% rely on auxiliary help in the daily
tasks of preparing food, feeding, bathing, dressing and in general, taking
care of the young children. Nevertheless, even in this latter group, the
participation of mothers is very strong, as in the case of "mother and
older children," "mother and other female family members." Thus, directly
or indirectly, mothers care for their children in 80% of the cases. In
nearly all cases, the family home is the place where this attention is
given. Only in a few cases were children cared for in someone else's home,
and usually even these were a relative's home. None of the 300 women had
children in a child care center. Also observed is the small number of women
who count on neighbors or friends to assist them, as well as the few servants
who are available.

It can be seen that other members of the immediate family offer the /
greatest amount of assistance to the women. Grandmothers, older daughters,
and other female relatives are counted upon to assist in child care. The
three women who responded to having servants,are all employed women.

The degree of responsibility of those who care for children is described
in Table 4-2. As observed, among 85%, full care is expected. The remaining
15% of caretakers are divided among those who perform several tasks, to
those who do nothing more than "keep an eye out for them."


Number %

Full care 254 84.7
All tasks except preparing food 17 5.7
"Keep an eye out" only 12 4.0
Feed children and "keep an eye out" 7 2.3
Feed and bathe children 4 1.3
Other 6 2.0

Total 300 100%

SOURCE: Author's data
The help which women receive for the care of the children is generally
without cost to the mothers, although 17% (N = 20) of the 119 women pay
for these services. This payment figures to be more than US$ 20 per month
for three-fourths of the women (see Table 4-3).

In evaluating these services, 79% of the mothers were satisfied, and
21% were not satisfied. Based on the form of care, the advantage most
appreciated was "vigilance and paying attention." The greatest disadvantage


Cost Number %

$1 $4 1 5.0
$5 $9 1 5.0
$10 $14 2 10.0
$15 $19 1 5.0
$20 or more 15 75.0

Total Mothers 20 100%
SOURCE: Author's data




Advantage Number %

Vigilance and watching children 170 56.7
Feed children well 29 9.7
Children are together 1 0.3
Mother has time for herself 4 1.3
Safety, no accidents 6 2.0
All advantages 39 13.0
No advantages 14 4.7
Other 29 9.7
No response 8 2.7

Total 300 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

was that the mother "had no time for herself." (See
It was noted that all three women employing servants
the care given to their children.

Tables 4-4 and 4-5).
were dissatisfied with

The women's favorable reaction to the care given their children is to
be expected in view of the lack of alternatives. Child care is an important
element in the survival strategy of families in low-income areas. Women
must respond to the lack of services offered by the government.

For a population of children 0-8 years of age of approximately 175,000
in Santo Domingo, there are five state-supported, child care centers, a ratio
of 35,000 children per center. These are supported by the State Secretariat
for Public Health and Social Assistance, and are offered free to low-income
families. These five centers have a total budget of US$ 43,585 per month,


Disadvantage Number %

Do not feed them, do not watch 16 5.3
Mistreat them 1 0.3
Mother has no time for herself 35 11.7
Not safe, there are accidents 1 0.3
All disadvantages 7 2.3
Other 194 64.7
No response 19 6.3
27 9.0

Total 300 99.9

SOURCE: Author's data

or an average cost of $50 per child per
the total population of children 0-8 in
private day care cen ers, but these are
low income families.

month, and reach less than 1% of
Santo Domingo. There are some eight
not within the financial reach of

When the women were asked if they know of a child care center, 55.3%
responded negatively (N = 166; yes: 44%, N = 132; no response: 0.7%, N = 2).
Some fifteen percent of the women (N = 46) said there is a child care
center in their neighborhood (No: 81.3%, N = 244; no response: 3.3%, N = 10).

When asked why they do not use the services of the child care center in
their neighborhood, "lack of need," "I have tried to without success" and
"the hours are not convenient" were the most common responses (see Table 4.6).


Reason Number

Do not like the center 7 5.3
Have tried to, without success 30 22.7
Hours not convenient 3 2.3
Too expensive 2 1.5
Too distant 8 6.1
Do not need to 63 47.7
Do not qualify 5 3.8
Other 5 3.8
No response 9 6.8

Total 132 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

In effect, the responses, "have tried to without success," "the hours
are inconvenient," "too expensive," and "too distant," demonstrate that
some 53% of these women understand the limitations of the current child
care center system. Among the most common criticisms of the centers are
the following:

Some centers require that mothers work outside the home, which
limits the number of families that could benefit.

Age restrictions for children, maximum age of six or eight years.

The selection process for enrollment of children is deficient; the
criteria for selection are applied with little objectivity.

With a very reduced budget, the services offered by the centers are
deficient. The majority of the centers do not have adequately
trained personnel, and do not offer more than one or two primary
school courses. There is an almost complete absence of recreation
equipment and activities.

The physical setup of the centers is inadequate; the buildings and
grounds are small and obsolete.

The lack of transportation is one of the most serious obstacles facing
low income families, and particularly mothers. To reach the child
care center mothers must have money and/or time to transport her

The small number of child care centers is the greatest obstacle faced
by low income mothers.

In spite of these limitations, 85.6% of the 132 women who knew of child
care centers were favorably impressed with the centers (see Table 4-7). Of
course, it is possible that the women gave such positive response assuming
that such services were to be offered for their community.

When asked what was necessary in order to take advantage of child care
center services, nearly half of the women did not know what was required
(Table 4-8). For the majority of the women, the process was complex,
requiring time, money and knowing an influential person. There are also
costs in time and money for transportation, clothing, and other less obvious

In spite of the fact that child care is nearly exclusively a family-
centered task (see Table 4-1), 63.9% of the women surveyed would rather
leave their children in a child care center than with another person or
with only the mother herself (see Table 4-9).

The 103 women who do not wish to use child care center services
were asked what their reasons were for this choice (Table 4-10). Some
21.4% of the women rejected the center itself, saying it did not provide


Opinion Number %

They are good 82 62.1
They are good because they offer women the
opportunity to work without paying babysitters 22 16.4
They are good for those who need them 7 5.2
They are good if they gave scholarships and kept
children overnight 2 1.5
They are not good 7 5.2
They are not good because children are not well
cared for, not well fed, and the children
become, ill 5 3.7
Various 3 2.2
No response 6 4.4

Total 134 100%
SOURCE: Author's data



Opinion Number %

Obtain a scholarship 21 15.9
Difficult and costly bureaucratic
process 44 33.3
Have influence, key person 5 3.8
Pay money 2 1.5
I do not need the services 3 2.3
No response 57 43.2

Total 132 100%

SOURCE: Author's data

adequate care, or the distance was too great. However, the majority (76.7%)
gave reasons relating to the quality of the personal care provided by those
of or close to the family.

In this response the importance of the family can be seen as a major
traditional value. Sixty-two percent of the women interviewed (N = 186)
said they regularly cared for their own siblings when they were young. Of
these, 27% said this had influenced their lives in that they "learned how
to take care of children."




Caretaker Number %

With another person 101 33.6
Child care center 191 63.7
Only with the mother herself 2 0.7
No response 6 2.0

Total 300 100%

TABLE 4-10



Reason Number %

More trust 27 26.21
Children receive better care 35 34.0 76.7
Relatives are available 17 16.5/
Father does not want strangers
to care for his children 2 1.9
In child care centers they do not
care for children well 11 10.7
Child care centers too distant 5 4.9
Various 6 5.8

Total 103* 99.3%

SOURCE: Author's data
*The total is 103 because it includes those who answered
"with another person" (N = 101), and the two women who
responded "only with the mother herself." See Table 4-9.

The women who preferred the services of a child care center were asked
to define the kind of services they would want. Ihe overwhelming majjrit
(90%) preferredonei.ghborhood locatiRo.fr these centers, in order to
avoid transpqrtation_prob..lms. As for hours, the women preferred a full
day_~chedule to auhal Jday.,_gai n due_ to_ transportation ,probl ems_ see
Table 4-11).

When asked who should be responsible for providing child care services,
over half of the women (52%) responded "the government" and 30% responded
"the family." Only 1% said, "the Church," and less than 1% replied "private

TABLE 4-11



Hours Number %

All day 129 65.5
Half day 54 27.4
Same hours as working hours 10 5.1
All day and some of the evening 2 1.0
No response 2 1.0

Total 197* 100%
rniirr n .1 I .---

SuuKL~: Autnor's data
*See Table 4-8, includes 191 mothers who
care center," and 6 "no response."

As for who
government" was
in Table 4-12.
remaining 11.7%
the expense.

answered "child

should bear the cost of a child care center, "only the
the answer of nearly three-fourths of the women, as shown
Only 11.7% thought "only the user/mother" should pay. The
thought the family and the state together should assume


Number %

The user/mothers, only 23 11.6
The government, only 144 73.1
The user/mothers, and the govern-
ment should give a subsidy 23 11.7
No response 7 3.6

Total 197 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

The women were asked in what manner they would be available to assist
in the child care center operations (Table 4-13). A variety of responses
demonstrate the willingness of the mothers to collaborate in such a
community activity.

In the rural area, child care centers were unknown to all but
the interviewed women. Nevertheless, all mothers enthusiastically
the concept of providing some kind of service for their children.

one of
The major

TABLE 4-13


Mother's Participation Number %

Helping in clean-up 13 6.6
Manual labor 32 16.2
Paying what was requested 46 23.4
Attending meetings 7 3.6
Transporting children 18 9.1
Whatever necessary 47 23.8
No response 34 17.3

Total 197 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

areas of need expressed by the women were

in health/nutrition and education.

In the Dominican culture, child care and domestic tasks are considered
to be a woman's responsibility and usually requiring "feminine" skills.
The father's role in the family is seen as a passive one. Children are
socialized early in life to differentiate these roles.

Returning to the first table of this chapter (page 25), it can be
seen that fathers play a very small role in the ("custodial") care of children
when mothers are working or otherwise occupied. Table 4-14 below shows the
help that husbands in Santo Domingo normally give wives in household tasks, and
the attention they give to their children, and what their husbands' help
should be (in both cases, the wives' opinions).


Type of Assistance Actually Help Should Help
Yes No Yes No

Prepare meals 23% 77% 42% 58%
Clean house 33 67 35 65
Wash clothes 6 94 19 81
Play with children 72 28 78 22
Help children with school homework 52 48 71 29
Bathe and feed children 48 62 87 13

SOURCE: Author's data

It can be seen in this table that the husbands help more with tasks
related to their children than with domestic tasks (i.e. washing clothes).
The wives feel their husbands should help more than they actually do. But
it is interesting that more women do not feel husbands should help with
various tasks. Clearly the women themselves see the home as their domain,
and they do not necessarily want to relinquish control of the sphere they


IPLANDES 26, p. 478.

2Data obtained in personal interview by the author.

3The fact that few women see child care as an employer's responsibility
is not surprising, since most women are not employed in factories or other
establishments with guaranteed benefits to laborers. The reader's attention
is called to a study which concluded "the establishment of industrial child
care centers is viewed favorably by the majority of business owners and
mothers who work outside the home." Instituto Dominicano de Estudios
Aplicados (IDEA), "Estudio sobre Guarderias Industriales en Santo Domingo,"
1975, p. 67.



A study by Sebrell and others, "Nutritional Status of Middle and
Low Income Groups in the Dominican Republic," concluded that "malnutrition
is a major public health problem the impact of which pervades nearly every
facet of both individual and national life. The overall picture is
one of a group of people living consistently on a level of nourishment
considerably better than famine conditions but distinctly below the level
at which their physical vigor and general health can be optimum."'

The Sebrell study found 27% of the preschool children fell into
Class II and III malnutrition. For the most part, children were found to
be born at normal or nearly normal body weights, using the Stuart-
Stevenson standards. At six months, body weight was seen to be still
normal. However, between 12-18 months, growth retardation became apparent.2

The malnutrition problem is found to be more acute in the National
District, and the Northern and Southwestern Districts (32-34% of the
children) than in the Cibao and Eastern Districts (14-17% of the children).
There was greater malnutrition among children in the urban area of the
National District compared to the rural area of that district, but in the
Southwestern District, Grade III malnutrition was more frequent among
rural than among urban children.3

The rural diets were found to be considerably higher than urban diets
in fluid milk, fresh vegetables, and fruits other than bananas, but urban
diets included more dried milk, beef, dried fish, chicken, pork, sausage,
other meats, red beans and vegetable oil. In general, the rural diets
provide considerably fewer calories and protein than urban diets. But on
a national average, 36% of the households consumed less than two-thirds of
the recommended protein intake.

In general, children's diet is deficient, as can be seen in Table 5-1,
which shows the average of consumption frequency of principal foods in the
diet of children 0-4 years of age in Santo Domingo.5 The most important
foods are rice, milk, beans, meat and plantains, in order of consumption.

Studies by Perez Mera (1978), Machicado (1976), Anderson (1974), and
Vasquez and Belcher (1968) showed the principal cause of malnutrition to
be the lack of access to the food necessary to maintain good health.
Income levels limit the amount of food the population consumes.

As Machicado wrote, ". half of the population (49.9%) was found


Product %

Oil/butter 2.8
Rice 13.5
Fowl 1.6
Sugar 2.8
Meat 7.8
Fresh fruit 3.4
Bananas 2.2
Beans 10.9
Eggs 2.9
Milk 12.7
Green vegetables 0.4
Bread 7.8
Plantains (cooking bananas) 4.9
Fish 0.4
Yellow vegetables 0.4
Cassava 0.8

SOURCE: PLANDES 37, p. 149-150

to have a monthly family income of about 35 pesos [US$ 35] and consumed
an average of 1,423 calories daily, and 28.23 grams of protein. And
another 25% of the families had a monthly family income of 86 pesos and
consumed 2,054 calories daily, and 51.70 grams of protein. That is, 75%
of the population of the country consumes less than the average recommended
levels for the Dominican Republic, which are 2,318 daily calories and
59.58 grams of protein.7

Low income groups were found to be more efficient in the consumption
of proteins and calories than middle and high income groups. That is, the
amount spent on food provided them with more nutrients per penny than
the food budget of higher income groups.8

MacCorquodale and Rondon de Nova conducted a case-control study of
82 urban low income Dominican women with a malnourished child and 82 women
with a well nourished child of the same age, sex and neighborhood of residence.
It revealed that the women of the control group (those with well nourished
children) had significantly lower parity and also had fewer living children.
It concluded, "higher incomes could well account, at least in part, for the
difference in parity as well as for the difference in nutritional status
of preschool children."9 Thus, additional income results in better nutrition,
but as income increases, and the basic biological necessities are
satisfied, the efficiency drops.

Infant mortality in the Dominican Republic is 128 per 1000 live births,
and mortality among children I to 5 is 20 per 1000.10 Life expectancy at
birth is 58 years. l

The national studies of breast-feeding have found 86% to 89% of the
women breast-feeding their infants.12 In our sample in Santo Domingo,
76.7% of the women breast-fed their last child (N = 230). Table 5-2 shows
the incidence of breast-feeding, and duration. The greatest number of women
breast-fed only to five months. Of the twenty-nine women who were currently
breast-feeding, twenty had infants less than a month old, and the other
nine had babies one to five monthsold.


Duration Number %

Less than 1 month 9 3.9
I 5 months 94 40.8
6 11 months 42 18.3
12 23 months 45 19.6
24 months or more 11 4.8
Currently breast-feeding 29 12.6

Total 230 100%

Of the 23.3% who had not breast-fed the youngest child (N = 70), 40% said
they did not have milk, 21% said they were ill, 14% said the child did not
want breast milk, 9% believed that one should not breast-feed, and the
rest (15%) cited a variety of reasons.

Of the women who had weaned their children, the greatest number (38.3%)
said "the milk dried." Other reasons given included the mothers becoming
tired of breast-feeding, the child tiring of breast-feeding and the mother
becoming ill (see Table 5-3).

Twenty-eight percent of the children who were breast-fed received
supplementary food during the first month of life, and 43% before complet-
ing six months, as shown in Table 5-4.

More than half of the children (57%) received infant formula as a
supplementary food. The rest of the children were given other kinds of
milk. Powdered milk was preferred by the mothers over cow's milk, probably
because the former does not require refrigeration.

In 86% of the Santo Domingo cases, food for the family was prepared by
the women themselves. Almost all the children eat all of their meals



Reason Number %

The milk dried 77 38.3
The mother tired of breast-feeding 37 18.4
The child tired of breast-feeding 27 13.4
The mother became ill 25 12.4
Other 35 17.4

Total 201* 100%
SOURCE: Author's data
*Does not include the 70 who did not breast-feed, nor
the 29 who were breast-feeding at the time of the


Age Number %

Since birth 31 13.5
In the first month 35 15.2
Before six months 98 42.6
Before a year 47 20.4
After a year 9 3.9
Has not yet begun 7 3.0
Does not remember 3 1.3

Total 230 100%
SOURCE: Author's data

at home, and two-thirds of the children eat
in Table 5-5.

three times per day, as shown

Additional questions on health status of children were asked of the
Santo Domingo mothers. It was found that half of the children had been
ill in the fifteen days prior to the survey. Colds, diarrhea and vomiting
were most frequently found (75%), and a variety of other illnesses gave the
other 25%, as shown in Table 5-6.

In the cases of colds, the mothers interviewed said they purchase
medicine at the pharmacy, and secondarily use home remedies. For
diarrhea and vomiting, the mothers claimed to seek a physician's advice




Number of Meals Number %

One meal 5 1.7
Two meals 14 4.7
Three meals 207 69.0
1 2 meals 2 0.7
2 3 meals 16 5.3
More than 3 meals 43 14.3
As food available 10 3.3
Various, undetermined 3 1.0

Total 300 100%
SOURCE: Author's data


Illnesses Number %

Colds 83 55.0
Diarrhea 13 8.6
Vomiting 2 1.3
Cold, diarrhea and vomiting 2 1.3
Cold and diarrhea 3 2.0
Cold and vomiting 1 0.7
Diarrhea and vomiting 10 6.6
Other* 37 24.5

Total 151 100%

SOUKCE: Author's data
*Includes skin diseases, eye infections,


In order to gauge the mothers' understanding of disease prevention,
they were questioned about the vaccination record of their youngest child.
When asked if he/she had been vaccinated, four-fifths of the mothers said
yes (see Table 5-7).

The mothers seem to feel that their children are well protected.
however, upon analyzing the vaccination dose data, this appears not to be
the case (see Table 5-8).13 Thirty-seven percent of the children had
received at least one polio dose, but considering that a mass polio
vaccination campaign was in process at the time of the survey, this figure
is low. Further, only 45 children had received the second dose.





Number %

Yes 238 79.3
No 44 14.7
Yes, but does not know for what 8 2.7
No response 10 3.3

Total 300 100%
SOURCE: Author's data



Vaccination Total Doses 1st Dose 2nd Dose 3rd Dose
Number Number % Number % Number %

DTP (triple) 131 76 58.0 28 21.4 27 20.6
Polio 224 112 50.0 45 20.1 67 29.9
Measles 79
Tuberculosis 44
SOURCE: Author's data

It is curious that more children received the third dose of polio than the
second dose. Twenty-six percent of the children had received measles
vaccination, and only 14.6% had received TB vaccine.

The thirty-five women who currently work outside the home were asked
is their working affected their children's health. More than half of the women
(N = 22 62.8%) responded affirmatively; the manner in which they were affected
was in some cases positive, and in other cases negative. Forty-five
percent of the women said the children were better fed and in better
health, and 40% said their children were not well cared for and did not
eat well, because the mother did not have enough time to look after them or
because they were left alone.

The responses of both groups reflect the contradictory situation of
women of the Dominican Republic. On one hand, they feel they need to work
in order to provide a better life for their families, and on the other,
they live in the anguish of not being able to provide adequate care for
their children. The high morbidity rates together with the high prevalence
of malnutrition cited point to the need to address mother's needs and child
care holistically.


ISebrell, William Henry, Jr., and others, "Nutritional Status of
Middle and Low Income Groups in the Dominican Republic," Archivos
Latinoamericanos de Nutrici6n, vol. 12 (Special number), July 1972,
pp. 11-12.

21bid., pp. 36, 32.

31bid., p. 38.

4lbid., pp. 79, 74.

5PLANDES 37, pp. 149-150.

6Perez Mera, Amiro and Julio A. Cross Beras, "Una Metodologia para el
Estudio de la Nutricion a partir de Consumos segun Niveles de Ingreso,"
Ciencia y Sociedad 3 (2) July December 1978, pp. 121-139. Machicado,
Flavio, "Nutrici6n, Distribuci6n del Ingreso y Desarrollo Agricola," in:
Foundation for the Advancement of the Social Sciences and the National
Council for Demography and the Family, La Desnutricion y sus Implicaciones
Sociales en la Republica Dominicana, Santo Domingo: Editora Taller, 1976.
Anderson, Margaret, "Determinantes socio-economicos de los oroblemas de
nutrition en la Republica Dominicana," in: Diagnostico del Sector Salud,
Santo Domingo: Secretaria de Estado de Salud Publica y Asistencia Social,
1974. Vasquez Calcerrada, Pablo B. and John C. Belcher, "Habitos en
alimentacion de la Familia Rural en la Republica Dominicana," Estudios
Sociales 6 (4): 175-184, October December 1973.

7Machicado, op. cit., p. 1Ol.

8Perez Mera, op. cit., p. 136.

9MacCorquodale, Donald W. and Haydee Rond6n de Nova (translated by
Vivian Mota), "El Tamano de la Familia y la Desnutricion in Santo Domingo,"
Ciencia y Sociedad Ill (1) January June 1978, pp. 5-17.

1OpLANDES 37, p. 173.

llMcHale, Magda Cordell, et al. World's Children Data Sheet,
Washington, D.C.: Population Reference Bureau, 1979.
12PLANDES 37, p. 140.

13These data are based solely on mother's recall, not on a review
of the child's vaccination records.

Page 42



This study is the result of data collection of two types:

(a) Primary data, from a survey of mothers;

(b) Secondary data, including bibliographic information, and interviews
with people knowledgeable and/or interested in the themes under study.

Primary Data

The most relevant information was gathered via a questionnaire given
to women in the city of Santo Domingo, and in a rural community in the south-
western portion of the country.

The questionnaire was modified and pre-tested several times. (A
sample questionnaire follows.) The final version consisted of 115 questions
organized in the following blocks:

(a) profile of basic information about the woman and her household;

(b) women's participation in the labor force;

(c) forms of child care;

(d) health and nutrition of the children;

(e) housing characteristics of the family.

The large majority of the questions were closed and preceded, in order
to economize time in questionnaire application. The average interview was
35 minutes. The 115 questions were then coded into 137 variables, which
were grouped for analysis.

Other questionnaires for similar studies were consulted to assist in
the design; for example, the National Fertility Study and the Study of
Women: Employment and Fertility.

The sample was designed to identify women of low economic status, who
had at least one child six years of age or younger. Assuming that child care
is a more significant problem for working women in the urban area than in the

rural, the major emphasis was on urban women. All urban interviewing was
done in Santo Domingo because it is the largest city in the country.

Six years of age was the maximum acceptable age of children in order
for the mother to be included in the sample because a) 0-6 are the most
demanding years of a mother's time and attention, and b) children enter
the formal school system at age six.

To determine the sample, the framework used was that developed for the
"Study-of Women: Employment and Fertility (EMEF)"in June-August 1978, for the
city of Santo Domingo, a study in which author Vivian Mota also participated.

Of the 67 blocks selected at random for the EMEF sample, the 23 low-
income ones were used for the present study. Those homes identified as
having a child under age six were noted, and 360 homes were chosen at random,
estimating a 20% rate of refusal, for a final desired number of 300 women in
Santo Domingo. A total of 319 questionnaires were given, of which 19 were
discarded due to errors.

As the sample size was not large, and excellent maps were available,
only three interviewers were needed. Experienced interviewers
were selected and trained for three days. The final element of the training
was a pre-test of 15 questionnaires in two neighborhoods. The results of
the pre-test were discussed and incorporated into the final version.

The field work was conducted in September-October 1978.

The neighborhoods studied included:

Los Mina I, II, III, IV, V
Villa Duarte
Ensanche Ozama
Domingo Savio
Villa Francisca
Simon Bolivar
24 de Abril
Ensanche Espaillat
27 de Febrero
Mejoramiento Social
Villa Consuelo
Ensanche Capotillo
Villas Agricolas
Villa Juana
Cristo Rey
Buenos Aires del Sur
Buenos Aires de Herrera

The questionnaires were reviewed and coded, and coding was reviewed
twice, in order to assure the quality of the data. The coded questionnaires

were processed by computer, utilizing the MINI-TAB program, which encompassed
consistency verification and simple frequency description.

The rural survey was done in the southwestern region of the country,
in the province of Pedernales (population 1970, 12,382; estimated population
1979, 17,708). The southwestern region is the most poverty-stricken in the
country, and Pedernales is one of the two poorest provinces of the region.
The rural area of Oviedo was chosen because it is surrounded by one of the
largest cotton plantations in the country, and a large number of women are
employed on the plantation.

Fifty questionnaires were administered in Oviedo, of which 10 were
discarded, resulting in 40 for the final count.

Secondary Data

The search for bibliographic information confirmed that there is a great
lack of published data on the Dominican Republic, and in particular,
studies concerning women and children. What is available is often in-
sufficient in quantity and quality.

Interviews with persons knowledgeable and/or interested in the topics
under study were hindered by the change of government due to the elections
of May 1978. Those officials of the previous government who had been
concerned with programs for women and children were no longer involved in
the programs, and the new personnel had yet to familiarize themselves with
the plans for their term.

Nevertheless, it was possible to gather information relevant to the
theme of the study, and the interviews promoted interest in the study and
its findings.

Child Care Study

in the Dominican Republic



Questionnaire Number


Hello. We are making a study on the care of children six years
of age and younger and we would like to ask you a few questions.
Your answers will be completely confidential.

Are there children six years of age or under in this home?

May I speak with their mother?

Municipality or Municipal District:
Highway, road, or street:
House number: Description of house:

Results of the Interview:

Not at home

Partially completed
Not eligible
Other (specify)


Background Information:

1. In what month and year were you born?
(month) 19 (year) doesn't know

2. How old are you? (years)

3. Did you go to school?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #6)

4. What was the highest level of education you reached?
1) Attended school but didn't continue (Go to #6)
2) Primary
3) Secondary
4) University

5. What was the highest course you passed at that level?

6. Do you have some other type of education or training?
(Secretarial, beautician, seamstress, etc.)
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #9)

7. What diploma (title) did you receive? In what area did you graduate?
(specify the area)

8. How long did the course last? (If more than a year, give in months)
days months

9. Have you ever attended a class on nutrition (food management), child care,
home improvement, health care, or similar topics? (Note the course and,
if possible, the institution that gave it.)

10. Including yourself, how many people (relatives or not) usually live in
this home?
number of people

11. Do you think a woman should help to support her family?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #13) DOESN'T KNOW/NO RESPONSE (9)
(Go to #14)

12. How can a woman help? What can she do?

13. Why shouldn't a woman help to support her family?

14. What are the greatest problems or difficulties facing women who want to
help support their families?
1) They get sick often.
2) Lack of experience (they have never worked before).
3) They can't find jobs.
4) The jobs they find are poorly paid or are inappropriate for a woman.
5) Their level of education is low.


6) Their husbands object to them working.
7) They don't have or can't find anyone to care for their children.
8) Employers don't like to hire married and/or pregnant women.


Marital Status Characteristics of Current Spouse

15. Are you presently single, living with someone, married, widowed, divorced,
or separated?
1) Currently united
2) Widowed, divorced, separated (Go to #20)
3) Single (never has lived with anyone nor been married) (Go to #20)

16. Does your husband usually (or customarily) live with you?
YES (1) (Go to #18) NO (2)

17. Why doesn't he usually live with you?

18. What is your husband's occupation or principal trade? (If he does odd
jobs, find out what he does.)
Description of work

19. Approximately, what is your husband's pay (salary)? (If he is currently
unemployed, find out his income when he works or does odd jobs.)

20. Approximately how much money came into the household last month?

21 27 (See next page)

28. Are there other children living with you who you have adopted or are
bringing up?

sex age

Employment of the Woman Being Interviewed

29. As you know, in addition to taking care of household duties, many women
work at something they get paid for, either in cash or in some other
form (food, clothing, various goods). Are you working at present in
addition to your household duties?
YES (1) (Go to #34) NO (2)


(0) C

a) (U

= 0

e- -
~ .-
d1 3>


4- L- C"

-- 0

C0 o-
f C~cN

-a.- 1L

4- u-
o C-

S-' 4-'

Total number of
children delivered

36 37

Female Male

38 39 40 41

Children presently

42 43

Under six years old


Total number who
have died


Causes of death

4- 49

30. Have you worked in the past 12 months?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #33)

31. In what year did you work last?

32. Why did you stop working?
1) It was temporary work.
2) She was dismissed.
3) The business was closed down.
4) She became ill and was dismissed.
5) She became ill and quit work.
6) She became pregnant and was dismissed.
7) She became pregnant and quit work.
8) Her children kept her from working.
9) Her husband did not want her to work.

OTHER (Go to #34)

33. Have you ever had a job other than domestic work?
YES NO (Go to #61)

34. I'd like to ask you some questions about your present job (the last job
you had). What is (was) your occupation? What kind of work do (did)
you do?
Description of work

35. She works (has worked) She doesn't work (hasn't worked)
in the fields (1) in the fields (2) (Go to #37)

36. She works (worked)in the family garden, in the plot of land that belongs
(belonged) to her family.
YES (1) NO (2)

37. On your job, do (did) you work most of the time at home or outside the
home? (More than half the day?T
At home (1) Outside the home (2)

38. Are (were) you employed by a relative, by some other person or institu-
tion, or do (did) you work for yourself?
Relative (1) Other Person/Institution (2) Self (3) (Go to #41)

39. What is the place you work (worked) called? (If she works for a relative,
what does (did) she do?)

40. How are (were) you paid for your work?
Cash (1) Other Form of Pay (2) Nothing (9)
(Go to #42) (Go to #42) (Go to #42)

41. When working for yourself, what do (did) you get in exchange for your work?
Cash (1) Other Form of Pay (2) Nothing (9)

42. How long does (did) it take you to get to work from your home?
minutes She has no specific place of work (9)

43. How

do (did) you usually get there?
Public car
Transportation provided by the company

44. In your present job (the last job you had during
how many hours a day do (did) you usually work?

45. In your present job (the last job you had during
how many days a week do (did) you work?

the past 12 months)

the past 12 months)

46. How many months a year do (did) you work, approximately?

47. In your present job (the last job you had during the past 12 months)
approximately how much do (did) you earn?
$ day-week-biweekly-month
(1) I receive goods in addition to cash
(2) I receive goods rather than cash

48. Is the work you have now (or had in the past 12 months) the only one
you have or is there another? (Did you have more than one job?)
More than one (1) Only one (2) (Go to #50)

49. Please tell me what other work you do (did) for payment in cash or in
some other form.

50. Do (did) you like your work?
YES (1) NO (2) DOESN'T KNOW/NO ANSWER (9) (Go to #53)

51. What do (did) you like most about your work?
1) Nothing in-particular
2) The money (salary)
3) The schedule
4) The treatment of employees or the working environment
5) The kind of work
6) It is (was) close to home
7) Raises and/or promotions


(Go to #53)

52. What do (did) you like least about your work?
1) The money (salary)
2) The schedule
3) The treatment of employees or the working environment
4) The kind of work
5) It is (was) close to home
6) There are no raises or promotions

53. What could you do to get a better job?
1) Get special training in
2) Improve your level of education
3) Get transportation (easier transportation)
4) Get someone to care for the children
5) Get someone to do household chores
6) Have connections; influential supporters
7) You can't do anything

54. What could you do to improve your present employment?
1) Get special training in
2) Improve your level of education
3) Get someone to care for the children
4) Get someone to do household chores
5) Have connections; influential supporters
6) Belong to a union or association
7) You can't do anything

55. What kind of training would you like to have to get a better job?

56. How do (did) you perform your household tasks along with your outside
1) When you return home
2) An adult relative does them
3) The husband does them
4) A neighbor does them
5) The maid does them
(If she has a husband, see #16. If not, go to #60.)

57. What does your husband think about you working outside the home?
1) He approves because we need the money.
2) He approves because I stay active and independent.
3) He tolerates it, although he doesn't like it very much.
4) He doesn't like it, but we need the money.
5) He doesn't like it because I am very independent.
6) He doesn't like it because I can't care for the children.

58. Does your husband normally help you to:
prepare meals
clean house
wash clothes
tend the garden
play with the children
help children with their homework
bathe and feed the children
doesn't know/no response

59. Do you think he should help you to:
prepare meals
clean house
wash clothes
tend the garden
play with the children
help children with their homework
bathe and feed the children
doesn't know/no response

60. Does your working outside the home affect your children in any way?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know/No response (9)
(Go to #64) (Go to #64)

a) How does it affect them?

(Try to find out if it affects them because they eat better since she
works--or worse since she is away from home; if their schooling is
better or worse; if their care is better or worse, etc. It is also
possible that circumstances are in no way affected by the mother's work.)

61. (For those who have not worked outside the home)

Why haven't you worked outside the home?
1) She has poor health.
2) She can't find work; there is no work.
3) She has no one to care for the children.
4) She has no one to look after the house.
5) She doesn't have enough training.
6) She is studying and doesn't have time to work.
7) She doesn't think women should work outside the home.
8) Her husband objects.

62. Would you like to have a job?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know/No response (9)
(Go to #64) -(Go to #64)

63. What would you like to do? What kind of work would you like?

Child Care:

Interviewer: Mark the appropriate box (see #29)

64. Works outside the home Doesn't work outside the home
(1) (2)

65. Who cares for your children under six years of age?

66. What tasks does that person perform?

67. Do you pay that person or institution?
$ day-week-month

68. What advantages does that way of caring for your children have?
1) They are watched and tended to.
2) They are well fed.
3) Medical attention
4) Education
5) Recreation (educational games, etc.)
6) Safety; there are no accidents
7) It is free

69. What drawbacks does that form of child care have?
1) They are not watched and tended to.
2) They are not fed.
3) Medical attention is nonexistent or insufficient.
4) They receive no education.
5) There is no recreation.
6) The place is unsafe; there are accidents.
7) They are mistreated.

70. In general, how do you feel your children are being cared for?
1) Very well
2) Well
3) Adequately
4) Poorly
5) Very poorly


71. Now that your older children take care of the younger ones, do they go
to school?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #73)

72. How much school do they attend?

73. Among your older children, who takes care of the younger ones, the
boys, the girls, or both?
BOYS (1) GIRLS (2) BOTH (3)

74. What do you think about the fact that your older children don't go to
school because they must look after the younger ones?

75. When you were growing up, did you regularly take care of your younger
brothers and sisters?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #78)

76. Did having to take care of your younger brothers and sisters keep you
from going to school?
YES (1) NO (2)

77. Did having to take care of your younger brothers and sisters keep you
from working?
YES (1) NO (2)

78. Do you think that taking care of your younger brothers and sisters
had any effect on your life?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't remember/doesn't know (9)
(Go to #80) (Go to #80)

79. How did it affect your life?

80. Is there a child care center in this neighborhood?
YES (1) NO (2) DOESN'T KNOW (Go to #85)

81. Do you know of a child care center?
YES (1) NO (2) DOESN'T KNOW (9)
(Go to #85) Go to #85)

a) Which?

82. Why don't you use a child care center?
1) She has tried but couldn't.
2) The schedule isn't convenient.
3) They are very expensive.
4) They are very far away.

83. What do you have to do to place your children in a child care center?
1) Obtain a scholarship
2) Go through a difficult, expensive process
3) Have connections/influential supporters

84. What do you think of child care centers?

85. Who do you think ought to be responsible for providing child care
1) Only the family
2) The state
3) The community
4) The factory; the employers; the managers, etc.
5) The church
6) Private agencies
9) Doesn't know/no response

86. Would you prefer to leave your children in someone else's care, or to
leave them in a child care center?
With another person (1) In a child care center (2) (Go to #88)

87. Why would you leave them with another person?
(Go to #92)

88. Where would you like the child care center to be located?
1) In your neighborhood
2) On your street
3) Where you work
4) Near your work
9) Doesn't know/no response

89. What hours would you like the child care center to keep?
1) All day
2) Only half a day
3) Open at all times
9) Doesn't know/no response

90. How do you think the cost of the child care center could be paid for?
Who should pay for its services?
1) Just the people who use it
2) Just the state
3) The people who use it, with a subsidy from the state
4) Just the employers or managers
5) They should be free
9) Doesn't know/no response a

91. How could women with small children take part in the child care center?

92. Is there a school in this neighborhood?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know (9)

93. What would you like your sons to be when they are grown?

94. What would you like your daughters to be when they are grown?

Health and Nutrition of Children

95. Did you breast-feed your last child?
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #100)

96. How long did you breast-feed your last child?
days/months Doesn't remember (99)

97. At what age did you begin to
addition to mother's milk?
age She hasn't
Doesn't remember (99)

give your last child other foods in

started yet

98. What food did you give him? (If milk, specify which kind)

(If she is still nursing, go to #101)

Why did you stop nursing your last child?
1) The milk dried up.
2) The mother became ill.
3) She became pregnant.
4) She was afraid she was pregnant.
5) She had to work.
6) She got tired of it; she had been nursing for
7) The child stopped nursing.
8) The child became ill and stopped nursing; or
mother took him/her off the breast.
9) The doctor recommended that she stop nursing.

Sa long time.

became ill and the


100. Why

(Go to #101)

didn't you breast-feed your last child?
She doesn't believe in breast-feeding.
She didn't have milk.
She had to work.
The mother became ill.
The child was born ill.
The child refused the breast.

101. What kind of milk did you give to your last child, in addition to your
1) Formula
2) Powdered milk
3) Evaporated milk
4) Condensed milk


Pasteurized cow's milk
Unpasteurized cow's milk

102. Who

prepares your children's food?
The woman being interviewed (she doesn't work outside the home)
She prepares it before she goes to work.
She leaves work to prepare it.
A relative prepares it.
Her husband prepares it.
A neighbor or friend prepares it.
The older children prepare it.


103. Where do your children usually get their food? Where do they eat?
1) At home
2) Where they are cared for

104. Generally, how many meals a day do your children receive?

105. Which meals did your children eat yesterday?

106. Have your children been sick during the past
YES (1) NO (2) (Go to #111)

107. What illness did they have?
1) Flu
2) Diarrhea (If none of these go to #111)
3) Vomiting

(If they had the flu, diarrhea, or vomiting,
question, #108, #109, or #110.)

two weeks?

answer the corresponding

108. What did you do for their flu?

109. What did you do for their diarrhea?

110. What did you do for their vomiting?

111. Has your last child been vaccinated?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know (9)
(Go to the instructions below #111)


a) Which vaccinations has he/she received?
DPT -- dose: 1 2 3

If the mother works, ask #112. If she doesn't go to #114.

112. Do you think the fact that you work outside the home in any way
affects the health or nutrition of your children?
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know/no response (9)
(Go to #114) .(Go to #114)

113. In what way do you think it affects them?

114. Do you participate in any of the activities of groups in the neighborhood?
YES (1) NO (2) No response (9)
(End the interview here)

115. Do you think your children benefit from your participation in these
YES (1) NO (2) Doesn't know/no response (9)
(End the interview here)
a) How do your children benefit?

Thank you very much. We appreciate your cooperation.

The interviewer must get the following information:

116. Access to home:
By vehicle (1) On foot (2)

117. Type of lighting

118. Source of water

119. Waste disposal

120. General condition of the home:
Miserable (1) Bad (2) Fair (3) Good (4)


A) Degree of cooperation:
Poor (1) Fair (2)

Good (3) Very good (4)


B) Reliability of responses
Totally reliable (1)
Partly reliable (2)
Not reliable (3)

C) Interviewer's: observations: (Specify the numbers of the questions
you make observations on)

D) Supervisor's observations:

E) Date of the interview:

F) Interviewer's signature:

G) Supervisor's signature:


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