Unpaid domestic work: India "competes" with Pakistan in high gender gap. Reason: Poor public spending

Ten best and ten worst countries
By Rajiv Shah
With 78.2% Indian females doing what is called “unpaid care work” -- as against just about 2.9% males -- a new International Labour Organization (ILO) study has found that the country’s gender gap in taking care of their families is among the highest in the world.
Identifying the time spent for domestic work, the 525-page study, “Care Work and Care Jobs for The Future of Decent Work”, says that Indian women spend 297 minutes a day as against 31 minutes by males in three different type of “care service” -- domestic services for own final use within the household, caregiving services to household members, and community services and help to other households.
By way of comparison, Chinese females do 237 minutes of unpaid work in a day as against 94 minutes by males, and Pakistani females do it for 286 minutes, as again 28 minutes by males.
The study further finds that the female-male gender gap for unpaid care work, calculated on a scale of 100, higher than India in only three of the 70-odd countries for which calculations have been carried out – Pakistan, Cambodia and Mali.
India would need to overcome 40.5% gender gap in order to reach gender equality in unpaid care work, as against 41.1% for Pakistan, 41.3% for Combodia and 42% for Mali women.
By comparison, Sweden would need to overcome the least gender gap, to the tune of just 5.3%, followed by Norway 6.1%, and Denmark 6.6%.
As against India’s 78.2 female unpaid care, workers who are “outside the labour force”, among neighbouring countries, Pakistan’s 80.5% females do unpaid care work as against 2.4% males, Bangladesh’s 66.6% females and 6.8% males, Sri Lanka’s 33.7% females and 5.2% males, Nepal’s 33.7% females and 4.7% males.

Among comparable BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), it is Brazil 28.5% for females against 1.8% for males, China 35.8% females and 14.1 males, Russia 40.7% females and 1.7% males, and South Africa 12.3 females and 0.3% males.
The high gender gap in unpaid care work in India, the study believes, should be studied alongside refusal of the rulers-that-be to spend on important care services such as pre-primary education services, maternity, disability, sickness and employment injury benefits, and long-term care services and benefits.
Thus, data from 45 countries show that India’s amount spent on care services is the second worse. The five countries, which appear to be spending less than about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on care services are Ghana, South Africa, Mexico, Turkey, India and Indonesia.
The comparison shows that Nordic countries’ public spending the highest on care services; it is above 7% in Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway and Finland.
Pointing out that in India and Pakistan, women’s care work is a “significant source of women’s employment (representing 10 per cent of female employment)”, the study believes, a higher public spending on care economy to the tune of 2% of GDP in can create a big job market for women across the world.
Quoting International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) calculations, the study says, it would create “24 million new jobs in China, 11 million in India, 4.2 million in Brazil, nearly 2.8 million in Indonesia and just over 400,000 in South Africa, of which 43–74 per cent would go to women.”
Underling that “the magnitude of unpaid care work is enormous and often compensates for a lack of public expenditure on care services and infrastructure”, the study believes, “The expansion of care jobs would generate tax revenues that would contribute to financing the initial investment.”

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
What a shame! We are compared to 3rd world countries while trying to pass off as advanced.