Marie Mukagasana is 37 years old and married. Her highest level of education is Primary school. She lives with her husband (aged 42) and four children. She has one son aged 15 and three daughters aged 13, nine and two. Her three older children attend school. Her care work includes cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids, and taking them to hospital when needed and rearing livestock. She also does some paid work in Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP), working for four hours per day. As work is far from home she wakes up early in the morning and return home late in the evening. Her husband does home-based paid work, such as agricultural work on the compound or on their land.
Marie is responsible for care activities at home. She prepares food, fetches water, cleaning and care for the children. She leaves home early in the morning for VUP work and her husband takes care of the family during the day when she is not at home. Her husband said,
“When my wife is absent, I do the cooking and take care of my children. I cannot wait until she comes back. I do the same when she is doing paid work or when children are at school. I take care of the siblings because no one else is around. We perform together.”
Often she prepares food at night before so that school-going children can find food when they are back at home. When her husband is away and children have gone to school, she stays at home doing paid work. When the children are around they help her. Marie’s two older daughters help her with care responsibilities, in addition to her husband.
Marie finds it difficult to combine paid and unpaid work as both require energy and concentration. However, she feels that care work is the most time-consuming task:
“Care work takes most of my time.”
She also complains about getting tired and having headaches as a result of feeling overburdened.
Marie would like the government to provide water and electricity in her village. According to her this would relieve because her family fetches water from a far distance.