Unpaid work burdens women

An average woman in India spends 19.5 per cent of her time in domestic work or care-giving

Hyderabad: Claims on women empowerment and providing them large-scale employment opportunities both at the national and state levels are just myths, going by data provided by the National Statistical Office (NSO), a wing of the ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

An average woman in India spends 19.5 per cent of her time in domestic work or care-giving. In contrast, men spend just 2.5 per cent of the 24-hour period on these activities.

According to a country-wide time use survey of the NSO, about 53.2 per cent of participants were found to be engaged in “unpaid domestic services for their household members.”

The proportion of women in the category was higher at 81.2 per cent, compared to 26.1 per cent males as per the survey held in 2019.

These figures are higher in rural areas. Urban women spend on average 25 per cent less time than men on employment activities, while the time-gap in rural areas is 18 per cent.

According to the NSO report, the gap between employment participation rate for men and women in urban areas is bigger when compared to rural Telangana. Men in urban areas spend 75.4 per cent time on employment (rural 69.8), as against 30.5 per cent for women (rural 22.6).

At the national level, the respective figures are men 73.1 per cent and 20 per cent. The employment gap between men and women in urban areas is 44.9 per cent points, much higher than that in rural areas at 24.8 per cent points.

An Indian woman, the survey said, spends 243 minutes or a little over four hours a day on household chores, which is almost ten times the average 25 minutes for an Indian man.

In every other group activity — from employment and learning to socialising, leisure, and self-care activities like sleeping and eating — men spend a higher share of their daily time than women.

There also appears to be an inverse relationship between age and the amount of time spent by women on household chores. But there is a direct relationship between age and the time spent by men on these. While women above the age of 60 see a sharp fall in their domestic work burden, men tend to devote larger time for domestic work when they cross age 60.

In Telangana’s urban areas, men spend 571 minutes in employment-related activities in a 24-hour period while women spend 430 minutes. In rural Telangana, men spend 486 minutes on employment-related activities while women spend 394 minutes.

At the national level, the disparity in time spent on employment related activities is much higher. In urban areas, men spend 521 minutes and women 385 minutes on such activities. In rural areas, men spend 445 minutes and women spend 326 minutes for these. As much as two per cent of people of the age of six years or above were in employment or related activities in 2019. About 57.3 per cent males were engaged in employment and related activities while the proportion was 18.4 per cent for females in the country. In rural areas, the proportion of women engaged in employment and related activities was higher at 19.2 per cent compared to the 16.7 per cent in cities. The proportion of males above the age of six years engaged in gainful employment or related activities was higher in cities at 59.8 compared to 56.1 per cent in rural areas.

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