‘Our careers do not come between us’

Read article on “Our careers do not come between us” at mywage.org Malawi. Zione Stalitchi is a nurse who is happily married. How does she balance marriage and work? Know more about Zione Stalitchi at mywage.org Malawi

By Madalitso Kateta

 

For many ambitious career women in Malawi, one of the major challenges that they face is to balance their careers with family. Juggling a hectic work schedule with the demands of a domestic household can be tough. And along with this, there is a still a belief in some quarters that women should be financially dependent on men.

Zione Stalitchi, a nurse at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, agrees that society can place a lot of pressure on women to manage both their homes and their careers perfectly. In her case, she believes that sharing a similar career with her husband has helped their relationship immensely.

Stalitchi, who has two children and has been happily married for many years to Saustein, a laboratory technician at the same hospital where she works, explains:

“I am a nurse - if I was married to an accountant who did not understand how we operate in the hospital we may have had disagreements. But since my husband works in a similar environment he is able to understand the situation, such as when I am called for duty at very odd hours,” she said.

She said that her job at the hospital requires dedication and can often involve long hours, as it deals with the lives of people. At when she is urgently called for duty her husband takes charge of the household affairs.

“I call myself a lucky lady because my husband understands my job and he is usually there to take charge of the domestic affairs when I am out of the house for work during weekends,” she said.

Stalitchi said considering that nurses play a vital role in the treatment of patients, a happy family life was important in terms of keeping a balance on the job.

“In our job we have a lot of pressure from patients – at times we see pain and death. This is eased when you have a supportive, happy family,” she explained.

Stalitchi said despite the low salaries for nurses in Malawi she does not harbour dreams of leaving the country, as has recently been the trend with many young nurses.

“I have never dreamt of leaving the country in search of greener pastures in Europe. Of course money is important, but I have always wanted to serve my country and raise my children here,” she said.

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