Unpaid work, no recognition burdens women

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Published on December 10, 2020 by

Time poverty impacts Indian women’s health and workforce participation. Around 82 percent of urban women percent participate in unpaid work compared to 10 percent men.

Time poverty has created a gender gap in India in terms of income, health, and leisure. According to the report from the Time Use Survey of India, women spend around five hours a day doing unpaid domestic work whereas men spend only one and a half hours.

Sharda Nitin Rane, a former teacher at S.A Bendale College said, “I left my job due to household chores. I used to sleep at ten and wake up at four. I had the same schedule for five to seven years then I started to feel slightly stressed and fatigued. I also went to the doctor who said my health conditions are due to too much stress and fatigue and therefore I left my job.”

Pradeep Rongali, MD Physician said, “Household chores involving physical exertion without adequate sleep and rest cause mental and physical stress and affect health. It also depends on a lot of factors like the amount of physical activity required to do the household work, the duration and the fitness level of the person.”

Time poverty is restricting women’s economic participation. As per the NSSO data, engagement of rural women in paid work constitutes only 15 percent compared to 76 percent rural males. 

Ramabai Sudhakar Dhivare, Mahila Aghadi Adhyaksh, Republican Party Member, Jalgaon said, “The female who goes out to work receives respect. Similarly, the female who does household chores should be respected and the government should create a policy for it.”

Economists say women’s domestic work can be recognised by giving them monetary benefits as per the Seventh Pay Commission. Deepak Sable, economist and author said, “There are some calculations that if household work is accounted for, in GDP then our GDP would go up 27 percent. So, to recognize the work of household women which has so far not been recognized, the government should set up a committee and study and look if it is possible for India.”

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