Centre weighs methods to quantify household chores done by women

Context: The Indian government is considering methods to measure the value of women’s household chores to the country’s GDP.

Gender Gap (GDP) in India

  • India is exploring methods to measure the contribution of household chores performed by women to the country’s GDP. 
  • The government plans to make the Time Use Survey a regular feature to understand how much time women spend on household work. Other methods, such as the diary method and direct observation method, are also being considered. 
  • The government may develop a methodology to quantify household work and its contribution to the GDP. 
  • Women in India spend more time on unpaid domestic services for household members than men. 
  • The Time Use Survey provides a framework for measuring time dispositions by the population on different activities. 
  • Experts are skeptical about including personal consumption activities in the GDP and how household chores would add to India’s GDP.
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Measuring the contribution of household chores performed by women can bring about several benefits to both the economy and women in particular.

  • Recognition of the economic contribution of women: Measuring household work can recognize women’s significant contribution to the economy, highlighting the economic value of unpaid domestic services and their role in the country’s economy.
  • Better policy formulation: Data on women’s household work time can inform policymaking, leading to more targeted policies for women and their families, in areas such as health, education, and employment.
  • Improved economic planning: The measurement of household work can help in improved economic planning and decision-making. This can provide policymakers with a more complete picture of the economy and help them make more informed decisions. 
  • Empowerment of women: Measuring household chores as part of GDP can empower women by recognizing their work as valuable economic activity, leading to increased labor force participation, better wages, and working conditions.

The measurement of household chores performed by women can help in recognizing the value of women’s unpaid work and enable policymakers to design more targeted policies for women’s economic empowerment.

Mains Practice Question:

Q. How do household chores performed by Indian women contribute to the economy? Can recognizing them as valuable economic activity lead to women’s empowerment? (150 words/10 Marks)

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