Women and girls undertake more than three-quarters of unpaid care work in the world and make up two-thirds of the paid care workforce.
They carry out 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work every day. When valued at minimum wage this would represent a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year, more than three times the size of the global tech industry.
In low-income countries, women in rural areas spend up to 14 hours a day doing unpaid care work.
Across the globe, 42 percent of women cannot get jobs because they are responsible for all the caregiving, compared to just six percent of men.
80 percent of the world’s 67 million domestic workers are women — 90 percent don’t have access to social security, and more than half have no limits on their weekly working hours.
The monetary value of unpaid care work globally for women aged 15 and over is at least $10.8 trillion
annually –three times the size of the world’s tech industry.
Unpaid and underpaid care work perpetuates gender and economic inequalities. It is fueling a sexist economic system that has accumulated vast wealth and power into the hands of a rich few, in part by exploiting the labour of women and girls, and systematically violating their rights. Women spend seven more years on average performing household work than men, according to philanthropist Melinda Gates. While caregiving can be meaningful, male economists have overlooked unpaid household labor when measuring productive work.
In her work, Gates noticed “unpaid labor” – or cooking, cleaning, childcare, and other household tasks – holds women back the most from achieving their dreams. On average, the time women spend performing unpaid labor amounts to seven more years than men. That’s the time it takes to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree.
Paid work is what gives women greater independence, Gates notes in her book, “Moment of Lift.” The time women spend tending to the home holds them back from getting an education, earning income, becoming politically active, and socializing with others.
When female economist Marilyn Waring studied unpaid work in the 1980s, she found that it would be the biggest sector of the global economy – if only it counted.
Unpaid work would be the biggest sector of the global economy – if only it counted.
“Men won’t easily give up a system in which half the world’s population works for next to nothing, precisely because that half works for so little, it may have no energy left to fight for anything else,” Waring wrote.
Not all gaps are created equal: the true value of care work, ( 2021, Oxfam Int )
Governments build roads and bridges.(2021, Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation)