The study conducted by market research and business intelligence portal, Statista (an online statistics), showed that women work more than men around the world.According to another survey conducted by Hive, women work 10 percent harder than men in today’s offices. This conclusion is the product of two other statistics. First, both men and women actually complete about 66 percent of their assigned work. However, women are assigned 10 percent more work than men these days — that they achieve the same completion rate tells us that they’re being more industrious.
Why are women being given more to do? It has to do with the kind of work allotted to them, noting that, “women are assigned and spend more time on non-promotable tasks than men [our emphasis]. These non-promotable tasks are any activity that is beneficial to the organization, but does not contribute to career advancement.” So basically, things men don’t want to do are begin handed to women.
However, most of work done by women is unpaid in all the regions. South Asia is the second largest region in the world where a majority of the women’s work is unpaid for most of the time. The survey shows the South Asian women do 7.8 hour unpaid work daily.
Latin America is the region where women do unpaid work for around 8.3 hours a day. Second on the list is South Asia where women do 7.8 hours unpaid work. East Asia and the Pacific region’s women do 7.7 hours unpaid work whereas Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asian women do 7.4 hours unpaid work. The women in developed countries have to do 7.2 hours unpaid work. Sub-Saharan Africa region’s women work 7.1 hours whereas Middle East and North Africa region’s women have to do 6 hours unpaid work.
There is a big problem here because the only work done for money is considered work. Any work done outside the homes, such as office, factory, and fieldis considered more valuable than work done at home. The conclusion therefore is, men work outside, get money as wages so their work is valuable. Women work at home, get no money, therefore their work is considered non-work having no or little value.
This is the reality of women’s work across the world. Their contribution to the family and society is not valued as most of their work is considered as household work which as women and the role given to them by society they are obliged to perform. It remains unseen, invisible and unrecognised and in conventional terms, yielding no economic benefits.
The under valuation of women’s work is a global phenomenon. Based on several research and surveys, women produce 60-80% of basic foodstuffs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean and perform over 50% of the labour involved in intensive rice cultivation in Asia. Women head 60% of households in some regions of Africa and meet 90% of household water and fuel needs in Africa. They also process 100% of basic household foodstuffs in Africa.
The poor women in rural areas of Punjab and Sindh work both in fields and homes. But their work hardly recognised by the government and society. They look after the livestock at homes and contribute to the family incomes in different ways. Their conditions haven’t changed much.
In spite of taking on the major burden of household work, such as caringfor children and the elderly, cleaning, looking after poultry, cattle etc. including the many activities related to food production and preservation, women’s work remains invisible as most of these activities are performed behind the four walls of their homes.
The non-recognition of women’s work has led to their marginalisation as a productive force although they are by and largeresponsible for the food security, health and wellbeing of the family and community. The invisibility of their contribution has led to their devaluation and not getting the honour and respect they deserve at home and in society.
In order to change the situation of women, socially, economically and politically, radical policy support is required side by side with campaigns and awareness raising activities. The mind-set and attitude of society towards women must change to a more positive one. Women’s work has to be appreciated and respected no matter where they work, at home, in the field, in factories or offices.
The struggles and hardship being faced by the women in rural areas need to be recognised by the authorities and government and steps needs to be taken to protect their rights and to improve their conditions.
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17 November, 2019