Pakistani and Bangladeshi Women's Attitudes to Work and Family

Aston J, Hooker H, Page R, Willison R | Research Report DWPRR 458 | Department for Work and Pensions | Aug 2007

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This study explores Pakistani and Bangladeshi women's attitudes towards education and employment, and how their views around family, marriage and children fit with and shape these.

The research was qualitative, and consisted of 60 in-depth interviews with women living in a number of major cities across Great Britain.

The study draws together key findings and sets out the following policy implications:

  • Education is key. The importance of education in raising women's aspirations and expectations in both the home and in the labour market should be recognised.
  • Assist women who have had children to return to the labour market. Ways to keep contact with, or re-engage, women returners need to be found.
  • Ensuring flexible employment opportunities that are sensitive to constraints will assist Pakistani and Bangladeshi women to combine work and family.
  • Provide appropriate childcare. Ensuring the provision of culturally sensitive childcare will provide women with more choice.
  • Engage the hardest to reach groups. Offer long-term economically inactive women support in a non-threatening environment within their own community.