From Announcing Their Pregnancy to Returning to Work: The Experience of Pregnant Street-Level Bureaucrats in non-Western Public Contexts

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Resumen

Drawing on the theory of social stigma, this article explores how female street-level bureaucrats experience pregnancy in the Egyptian public service and the main challenges they face. The empirical sample comprises semi-structured interviews with 40 female street-level bureaucrats working in four ministries in Egypt. Thematic analysis was subsequently used to determine the main ideas in the interview transcripts. The findings show that during pregnancy, female bureaucrats find it easy to announce their pregnancy without any fear or concern about being challenged with intensive job duties. However, during that stage, they predominantly suffer from abusive clients and a lack of organizational support. During maternity leave, female bureaucrats mostly feel forgotten by their colleagues and managers, and once they return to work, they find it difficult to balance the new obligations of motherhood and their regular job tasks. Furthermore, pregnant bureaucrats consider the marginal discretionary power to craft job duties, stigmatising the performance of pregnant bureaucrats and the primitive laws regarding pregnancy as the main challenges they face in public contexts.

Idioma originalInglés
PublicaciónPublic Integrity
DOI
EstadoAceptada/en prensa - 2024
Publicado de forma externa

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