The work-life balance experiences of selected women entrepreneurs in Manzini, Swaziland.
Otieno, Vincent Paul Opiyo.
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Swazi women are becoming increasingly empowered and this is evidenced by the increase in the number of women operating small businesses. On the other hand, gender socialization in Swaziland places full responsibility of household and childcare responsibilities on the women. This presents a challenge to the Swazi woman entrepreneur of balancing business activities with household responsibilities and personal life. The qualitative methodology was used to explore the nature and extent of work-life balance challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Manzini. Data was collected in the form of 12 in-depth interviews from female salon owners operating in Manzini. The findings reveal that the women entrepreneurs face significant work-life balance challenges in the three domains. The work domain is characterized by long and extended working hours with limited schedule flexibility. In the family domain, the women struggled to fulfil household responsibilities due to fatigue and limited time. They, however, enjoyed occasional spousal support with household duties. In the personal domain, the women had limited leisure time and opted to spend it communally with the family. The personal health of the women posed the greatest challenge with frequent fatigue as well as health risks from the workplace. Swazi women entrepreneurs face considerable challenges in an attempt to balance the different domains of life.