Its 21st century and unpaid work done by Indian women as housewives is 3.1 percent of the country’s GDP, but still, it is the thankless job, not even considered a job. Because, ‘oh you are a woman and making your home and raising the children is your duty’, gender roles, socially construed but at the same time are viewed as some natural law.
A recent report published by Oxfam notes that unpaid work done by women across the globe amounts to USD 10 trillion a year. And yet, most women, men and the governments across the world do not consider it as ‘work’. And mind you this is not dawned to us as a divine law but traces its roots to sexism or in the simpler words gender discrimination.
Women on an average spend, 312 minutes per day in urban areas and 291 minutes per day in rural areas on such unpaid care work, in comparison, men spend only 29 minutes in urban and 32 minutes in rural areas.
Swarna Rajagpalan, political scientist and the founder and director for the Prajnya Trust- a non-profit organisation based in Chennai says,” The idea is that if you are born with XX chromosome, you are already good at household work”.
A report published on Thursday by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) noted that the most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific region, India and China, have seen women’s employment rates fall more than that of men. The primary reason being that women play the role of caregiver.
Back in 2012, a bill by the women and child development ministry proposed that it will be mandatory for men to share their income with their wives if she does not work outside the home. However, it just didn’t implemented as a law.However, reducing the work burden on women should be the government’s first objective in order to recognise their work and include it in the GDP.