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Earning Their Keep: The Productivity of Older Women and Men in Rural Bangladesh


Cameron, LJ and Kabir, ZN and Khanam, MA and Wahlin, A and Streatfield, PK, Earning Their Keep: The Productivity of Older Women and Men in Rural Bangladesh, Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology, 25, (1) pp. 87-103. ISSN 0169-3816 (2010) [Non Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1007/s10823-010-9109-7


In Bangladesh, being active and able to participate in productive activities is often essential to ensure ongoing health and survival. This study aims to describe and explore the patterns of participation in productive activities by older people in Matlab, a rural area of Bangladesh. Data from a cross sectional survey of people over 60 years of age was utilised. Six hundred and twenty five men and women participated in home based interviews providing information about their participation in productive activities including work, domestic activities and community groups. Overall, 94.4% of subjects reported participation in at least one productive activity. Men were the main participants in paid work and community groups, with 62% reporting engagement in paid work and 44% contributing to community groups. Both men (95.4%) and women (91.9%) reported performing at least one domestic activity. Performance of higher numbers of domestic tasks was associated with being younger, female, not requiring any assistance with self care, not married, not living with any children and earning between 100999 Bangladesh Taka in the past month. Participation in community groups was low with only 26% of the sample reporting any involvement. This study indicates a high level of productivity in the older population in Matlab which benefits the individual, the family and the wider community. The safety and suitability of typical productive activities needs further investigation, in order to inform strategies protecting the older population from the effects of over work and harmful activities.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:Bangladesh, Domestic activities, Occupational justice, Older adults, Productivity, Work
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Preventative health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Rural and remote area health
UTAS Author:Khanam, MA (Dr Masuma Khanam)
ID Code:115785
Year Published:2010
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2017-04-10
Last Modified:2017-04-10

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