FACTORS INFLUENCING THE DEMAND FOR DOMESTIC SERVANTS IN OYO STATE, NIGERIA
The employment of domestic servants is a common phenomenon in Nigeria, where vulnerable children are internally trafficked to work as domestic servants in affluent urban households. While scholars have investigated the push factors aiding the demand for child domestic servants in West Africa, attempts to understand the dynamics underlying the demand are scarce. Hence, this study investigated factors that propel demand for domestic servants in Oyo State. The data were generated using both the quantitative and qualitative methods. The results show three categories of employers: newly married women, married women with grown-up children, and isolated widows and grandparents. The demand is driven by role dualism, workload, and the need for companionship. The incipient decline in the extended family structure of social exchange system (fostering) and preference for “outsiders” rather than family members justify the demand for and use of domestic servants. The study recommended welfare programmes targeted at demanding households and an intervention strategy for the trafficked children.
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