By Amanuel Endris
Many female employees, in the past, left their jobs as a result of childbirth and related problems. Firstly, the mothers abandoned their permanent jobs in order to breastfeed the babies at home until they weaned their babies. Secondly, they did not have enough money to hire nannies for their infants to take care of them until they give up breastfeeding and join kindergarten. However, this will soon change following the inauguration of day-care center, also known as day nursery, at Kombolcha Polytechnic College supported by the World Bank-funded East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP).
The establishment, which will offer offering day-care services to preschool children, will enable parents and teachers to work full time or have extended relief when childcare becomes a problem.
With funding from EASTRIP, the former Hotel & Tourism Department Workshop was recently renovated, restored and rearranged in a manner that supports child care.
Childbearing and care is left to women alone in Ethiopia. For example, to feed children, to maintain their cleanliness, to look out for possible danger and protect them, and to take care of them at close range is a mother’s duty. It is unusual to see a father involved in these matters. As a result, the role of a woman is much greater than that of a man.
Socio-cultural factors in traditional African communities have traditionally confined women to the home. Restrictive gender roles are reproduced in interactions between women and their spouses. In Africa, Ethiopia included, women are actively engaged in childbearing and childrearing. Doing unpaid household chores are also tasks reserved for women.
Even these days, Women have been relegated to low-paid and low-skilled jobs. When women leave the workforce due to childbirth, the problem compounds to intricacies.
However, Kombolcha Polytechnic has taken initiatives to reverse by providing the necessary platform for women to excel at their workplace.During the inaugural ceremony, Mrs. Shewaye Tadesse, the Deputy Head of the Labor and Training Department of Kombolcha Rijo-Politian City, said the opening of the childcare center will solve the social and economic problems faced by women.
Ms. Shewaye added that the opening of the daycare is a new idea for the area and it will be a great lesson and experience for other colleges in the zone and the district. She said the center will prevent mothers from leaving work due to problems related to child rearing.
“Since the day-care center has been built and opened, women employees no longer have to worry about the loss or security of work as a consequence of childcare and child-raising”, Ms. Shewaye said. “It’s possible for the mothers to bring their infants to the workplace where they can surely breastfeed and take close care of their children in the workplace”.
Writer is a public relations officer at Kombolcha Polytechnic College