Skip to main content

Official Indian data don't reflect unpaid drudgery by women; result is poor gender budgeting: Economists

By Rajiv Shah
Contesting data on poor work rate participation (WRP) among women data, as calculated by the Government of India, well-known Gujarat-based economist Indira Hirway, has said that, if calculated on the basis of latest methodology, men spend 27 per cent, while women spend 38 per cent of their time on work.

Revealing this in a book, “Mainstreaming Unpaid Work: Time Use Data in Developing Policies”, published by Oxford University Press (2017), and edited by her, Prof Hirway says, the methodology, time-use survey (TUS), being adopted across the world, takes into account “unpaid work”, or the work which does not give women any direct remuneration.
The book contains 10 research articles by scholars, Indian and foreign, focusing on continued gender discrimination in data collection, whether it is Latin America, Africa or Asia-Pacific.  
TUS, according to Prof Hirway, includes unpaid work that “falls within the production boundary of the System of National Accounts (SNA) as well as unpaid work that falls within the general production boundary but outside the production boundary (non-SNA)”.
While men’s share in SNA work is 67.89 per cent (in total person hours), it is 32.11 per cent for women, Prof Hirway, heads the Centre for Development Alternatives (CFDA), Ahmedabad, says, but adds, in non-SNA activities like free “collection of water, fuel wood, vegetables, fruits, and leaves) for meeting basic needs of the household”, women's share in India (both rural and urban) is 35.56 per cent, as against just 5 per cent of men.
“The total time spent on these activities also is much longer (3.11 hours per week) for participant women than for participant men (0.97 hours per week)”, calculates Prof Hirway, adding, “7.23 per cent of men and 9.27 per cent of women participate in some additional activities” like “animal grazing, making cow dung, collecting, storing, and stocking of fruits, woodcutting, and stocking of firewood.”
Terming all of it unpaid drudgery, Prof Hirway further says, “Women, on an aver­age, spend 28.96 hours per week on household management, that is, taking care of the household”, which includes cooking (14.59 hours), cleaning and washing (7.89 hours), care of textiles (2.31 hours), childcare and care of the old, sick, or disabled in the household (4.47 hours).
In yet another research paper on India in the book, “Integrating Time Use in Gender Budgeting”, Lekha Chakraborty points to how the country’s gender budgeting policies often rest on a highly restricted assumption that “all public expenditure cannot be gender partitioned.”
Senior economist at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), an autonomous research institute of the Union Ministry of Finance, Prof Chakraborty says, TUS surveys indicate that “the value of unpaid activities could be as much as 26 to 28 per cent of the relevant state domestic product (SDP).”
“Compared to women, the valuation of unpaid activities by men was imited to only about 2–3 per cent of the SDP in these two states”, Chakroborty notes, adding, “The unpaid work, as a proportion of SDP, is as high as 49.93 per cent in Meghalaya and 47 per cent in Madhya Pradesh.”
She states, “The time-use statistics revealed that public expenditure on water schemes benefit women greater than men”, adding, “Applying the population proportion of time budget data, the benefit incidence of water expenditure is estimated. The figures clearly show that women benefit more from public expenditure on water.”
“If gender budgeting is predominantly based on the index-based gender diagnosis, a reanalysis of the construction of the gender (inequality) index is necessary to avoid a partial capture of gender diagnosis in budget policymaking”, she insists.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Haven't done a good deed, inner soul is cursing me as sinner: Aurangzeb's last 'will'

Counterview Desk The Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last of the strong Mughal emperors, located in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, has this epitaph inscribed on it: "Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast" (the rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves. For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough to shelter my grave).