Obviously, a Women's Matter: how much unpaid work women do? - Social Held

Obviously, a Women’s Matter: how much unpaid work women do?

published by Magdalena Willert

A job, a family, a household and a pandemic: that’s how much some people had to deal with in the previous year. Most of these unpaid work ends up in hands of women. 

International Women’s Day is already here for 110 years. This day was not intended to be a celebration, but to highlight inequalities between women and men. One of them is the unfair distribution of unpaid work.

Worldwide, women spend two hours more time in unpaid work than men. This work also goes beyond their own home. Because women also invest their time more often in neighborhood help and volunteering with families or friends. The report on volunteering in Austria 2019 shows that 38 percent of the women surveyed do charitable work in the neighborhood and the alike (so-called informal volunteering). For men it is 28 percent.

If you count the hours from the job for housekeeping, caring for relatives as well as club and charity work, you come to an average of 55 hours a week for women and 49 for men. This was found by a study by International Labor Organization (ILO) two years ago.

Today the situation has improved just little. In addition to the tasks of being a housewife, mother and business woman, Corona and homeschooling have also added the role of a teacher. This is confirmed by a study by the Vienna University of Economics and the Vienna Chamber of Labor. It is hardly surprising that single parents experienced the most stress from the Corona crisis. On average, they worked 15 hours a day, of which around nine hours were spent on housework and childcare.

What is surprising, is that in households with both parents, the woman works unpaid even longer: here she works 9.5 out of a total of 14.5 hours of work. Fathers work around seven hours, both paid and unpaid. This imbalance can be observed across all occupational groups and educational levels.

Under aggravated circumstances, we find still strongly rooted “role models” that we would like to leave behind. So this year let’s focus on the room for improvement instead of celebration.

us a line!


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