A case study of increasing infertility in working women -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

A case study of increasing infertility in working women

ATTIYA IMDAD

Globalisation is a reality now with far-reaching consequences and influences on our lifestyles, pattern of thinking and life choices. Its because of globalisation that more and more girls are getting educated and hence preferring to delay marriage and motherhood for the sake of careers.

The West where this phenomenon started is at the pinnacle of medical science so good medical care system has taken care of many of the ill-effects of late marriages and late motherhoods, so it’s not a big concern. But the developing economies of Asia, Far East and Africa as well as Middle East, where medical science is rudimentary and even clean water, basic sanitation facilities and clean environment for living is a luxury, in these struggling economies the price working women are paying is rather catastrophic. According to Abha Majumdar, director of Invitro Human Fertilisation, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Mumbai “women have switched to a faster lifestyle now. The stress of job and home is affecting their menstrual cycle and hormonal make-up, leading to infertility”.

“Late marriages, mainly after 30 years of age, is another reason for infertility”, she said. Nearly 18-20 percent couples are affected by infertility in Pakistan. So it’s a case of concern when Mother Nature’s given duty of motherhood is denied by girls so busy in the life struggle of economics. It is estimated that 20% of women aged 35-45 are infertile. They need to be taken care of rather than left aside since infertility is not considered a life-threatening disease. But implications are manifold, social impact of childlessness is more in Pakistan. The social taboos a motherless woman of any social strata faces are severe in Pakistani society, since here the value of a woman lies in her marriageable age and the offsprings she can reproduce for the family.

In such a scenario where more and more women are opting to work, I’m sure the concept of flexitime will relieve many working women. It is a concept that can be applied in offices, factories and workplaces where applicable. In the modern day, the concept of workplace is becoming without borders with much achievable at home. Generally morning time is full of tension for working ladies, where in a joint family system, they have to tend to the needs of people more than her immediate family of husband and kids.

Flexitime work time will benefit immensely women workers, but the employer stands to gain from it too with a relaxed working force of women. Just flexing the working time to the advantage of working women can generate far-reaching results not only in decreasing infertility but also encourage reluctant ladies who just because they have no recourse to any help, either stop working or never join the workforce. And in many cases where women are the sole bread-earners the very concept of flexitime will work to their benefit not to their detriment.

In this regard Working Women Organisation (trust) is talking to stakeholders. Women across the board, literate or illiterate, urban or rural, office boss or junior, factory worker or field picketer has welcomed the idea enthusiastically. In the first step some organisations where the workforce is hugely female, should be encouraged to adopt flexitime adopting the timing from 11 am to 5 pm or giving the choice to factory working women of working in the morning or evening shift according to her needs. Also places where the workload can be taken home and the physical presence of working women is not absolute necessary typing, secretarial, designing, creative thinking, sampling and order-taking jobs easily manageable from the home, should be exempted from office coming. In the West too, in order to facilitate working ladies many incentives are promoted. Information technology is being used to physically limit the presence of staff in the office environment and working from the home or outside the office’s four walls is being adopted.

While we cannot imagine such technology-savvy procedures and steps here in our country we can allow our working ladies to decide what time suits them. I am sure that everybody’s interest lies in it, from the mother to her child as well as her husband too. A peaceful family with the mother figure present to easily look after the home will definitely bring positive results in a greatly polarised society.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:6/24/2011