Tag Archives: unpaid work

Balancing paid work, unpaid work and leisure (OECD Countries)

07/03/2014 –

Greater gender equality in working hours is not just about more women in full-time employment. It is also about more men reducing their long hours in paid work. Although detailed information is available for a limited number of OECD countries, data on the usual hours worked per week illustrate how the prevalence of long and short working hours differs across countries and the sexes.

Among the sample of countries, the United Kingdom has the longest working hours culture: more than 20% of employed men usually work 40 to 50 hours per week and another 20% working more than 50 hours per week. In the Czech Republic, France and Poland, 20% of employed men also usually work for more than 50 hours per week, considerably more than in the other countries, including Germany, Hungary, Scandinavian countries and the Slovak Republic.

France and the United Kingdom are also the countries where most women usually work more than 40 hours per week (over 15%). At the same time, many British women work part-time (hyperlink to the indicator), while the prevailing “35 hours working week” contributes to most women working less than 40 hours per week in France.

The forty hour working week is the overriding working hours’ pattern for both men and women in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland and Hungary. In Finland, Norway and Sweden collective and/or sectoral agreements often lead to usual weekly working hours of around 37.5 hours per week. Indeed, the long working hours’ culture is not pervasive in Scandinavian countries, which contributes to the general perception in these countries that pursuing both active work- and family lives are compatible aspirations for both fathers and mothers.

 The Distribution of usual hours worked among men and women in employment

Source: OECD Employment database  

 Over the last 50 years, women decreased their hours of unpaid work as they increased the hours of paid work. Men have been doing more housework and child care, but they didn’t take up the slack so gender inequalities in the use of time are still large in all countries. Turkish women spend the most time doing unpaid work, such as housework or shopping, at 377 minutes a day, followed by Mexican women at 373. This compares to their menfolk: Mexican men who spend an average of 113 minutes on unpaid work and Korean men who spend only 45 minutes, the least of all. If we look at the sum of paid and unpaid work, women work more than men (2.6 hours more per week on average across the OECD).

When it comes to time spent on personal care, including eating and sleeping, the gap between the sexes is much smaller. French women spend the most time in personal care, at 755, just ahead of Italian women at 697. Their men spend almost as much time (738) –  just ahead of Italian males at 697.

In virtually every country, men are able to fit in valuable extra minutes of leisure each day while women spend more time doing unpaid housework.

Time spent in unpaid work and leisure

Minutes per day

infographic on time use

Source: OECD based on data from National Time Use Surveys.

From: http://www.oecd.org/gender/data/balancingpaidworkunpaidworkandleisure.htm


La carte du travail domestique des hommes dans les pays de l’OCDE/ Men’s domestic work in OECD Countries (MAP)

par Grégoire Fleurot
le jeudi 6 mars 2014


Si vous ne devez visiter qu’un seul site pour préparer vos discussions et débats du 8 mars, journée internationale des droits des femmes, avec vos amis, votre famille ou vos collègues, c’est celui de l’OCDE.

Le site de l’organisation internationale d’études économiques contient en effet une rubrique de statistiques se concentrant sur les inégalités entre les hommes et les femmes dans les domaines de l’éducation, du travail et de l’entrepreneuriat dans les 36 pays membres (principalement en Europe et en Amérique du Nord).

Dans cette mine de statistiques, le magazine en ligne Quartz a identifié un indicateur particulièrement intéressant, celui du temps que les hommes passent à effectuer des tâches domestiques non-rémunérées (qui incluent la cuisine, le ménage ou encore la garde des enfants). Nous avons rassemblé les données dans la carte ci-dessus, et le détail est ici:


On peut voir que les hommes français consacrent un peu plus d’1h30 par jour aux tâches ménagères, un temps non-négligeable et bien supérieur à la moyenne des 29 pays étudiées, qui se situe juste en-dessous d’1h15. Dans un document de travail publié en février dernier, l’Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined) expliquait les récentes évolutions en matière de travail domestique dans les ménages français:

«Au cours des 25 dernières années, les hommes se sont davantage impliqués dans l’éducation des enfants, tandis que leur participation dans les autres tâches domestiques est restée stable. Les femmes ont également consacré davantage de temps aux activités parentales mais sensiblement moins à l’entretien domestique. […]

Les couples sont plutôt homogames en termes de temps passé aux tâches domestiques et le sont davantage au fil du temps. La spécialisation conjugale des tâches domestiques traditionnelle avec l’homme pourvoyeur principal de ressource a diminué, notamment dans les années 1990. Toutefois, on observe des résistances au partage plus égal des tâches domestiques, les femmes demeurant toujours les premières responsables de la bonne tenue de la maison et des membres de la famille.»

On voit dans les statistiques de l’OCDE que les hommes japonais, coréens, turcs et indiens se détachent par le très peu de temps qu’ils consacrent aux tâches ménagères. Les Indiens sont les recordmen des 29 pays étudiés avec seulement 19 minutes par jour. «L’Inde est constamment en retard dans les différentes d’égalité homme-femme», souligne Quartz, qui rappelle que les Nations unies ont placé le pays à la 132e place sur 148 de son récent index sur les inégalités homme-femme.

From: http://www.slate.fr/economie/84267/travail-domestique-hommes-carte-france-monde

Unpaid care: the missing women’s rights issue

Kate Donald 20 January 2014

Unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change, says Kate Donald

“Women’s rights are human rights”, declared Hillary Clinton in Beijing nearly 20 years ago. This simple yet revolutionary statement has evolved into a mantra of the international human rights movement. However, one of the major obstacles to women enjoying their rights equally with men has been rarely recognised or even spoken of by human rights advocates. Something that happens every day, in every household, village and city around the world: the cooking, cleaning, and caring that families, communities and societies depend upon and simultaneously take for granted.

All of us receive care at some point in our lives. Almost all of us will also give care, to children, to elderly parents, to partners. To speak of ‘care’ as a human rights issue risks dissonance. Isn’t care a good thing? Don’t we need more of it, not less? Indeed: it is not unpaid care per se that threatens human rights  – being a foundational, unavoidable and very human activity that underpins all societies and cultures– but rather, the way it is distributed, and the lack of recognition and support it receives.

Of course, from The Feminine Mystique to the Wages for Housework Campaign to The Second Shift, feminists have pilloried the discriminatory distribution of unpaid care. In general however, human rights and women’s rights advocates have been slow to adopt it as a cause. Granted, in a field like women’s rights there are a myriad of heart-rending issues fighting for attention; but surely something that so fundamentally shapes women’s time, lives and opportunities should by all reasonable measures be a rallying point?

One obstacle is that care has unfairly been perceived as an elite concern. Many of the public debates around care focus on the struggles of privileged professional women – the Sheryl Sandbergs of this world – to juggle motherhood and work. Poor women supposedly have more serious, life-or-death concerns. On the contrary: unpaid care work is intimately bound up with survival, with eking out an existence on subsistence crops and little income. It is the work of putting food on the table, insisting your children attend school so the next generation can have hopes of life away from the breadline, keeping everyone in the household clean and healthy so wages are not lost and unaffordable health costs are not incurred.

In all countries, women provide the vast majority of unpaid care – and when unpaid care is taken into account, women work longer hours overall than men. It is also absolutely clear that the struggle is intensified for women living in poverty, because they can’t afford to pay for outside help or time-saving technologies (be it a washing machine or grain-grinder), and because they are more likely to live in areas where public services are inadequate or absent. Rural women in many developing countries have the added burden of collecting water and fuel for domestic use – often walking hours each day to do so. In sub-Saharan Africa women and girls spend 40 billion hours each year collecting water – equivalent to a year’s labour by the entire French workforce.

The amount of time women spend on unpaid care is fundamental to defining their time, energy, finances and social and political capital. It is also definitively a human rights issue. Under international human rights law, including the International Covenants and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, if women are unable to enjoy a right to the same extent as men, this is automatically a human rights violation that requires remedy. States are explicitly required to take concrete measures to ensure that women are able to enjoy their rights equally, and to tackle any obstacles to them doing so. The gendered distribution of unpaid care work is unquestionably a major obstacle in this regard, preventing the equal enjoyment by women of a whole range of human rights.

Most obviously, their rights to work and to equal rights at work are threatened. Even privileged women have to contend with the gender pay gap, lack of family leave rights, and maternity discrimination. For many poorer women with intensive care responsibilities, although they would dearly love the income, paid work is an impossibility. Others are forced to accept whatever badly paid flexible work they can find – often without labour rights or social security – and still perform the same ‘second shift’ when they get home, sacrificing their health and leisure.

Girls’ right to education is also put in jeopardy, whether they are withdrawn from school entirely or simply have less time and energy to devote to schoolwork or extra-curricular activities than boys due to their domestic duties. This has devastating knock-on consequences for their future opportunities and income. Compounding this, later in life women have less time for training or adult education opportunities because of their heavy domestic workload.

Women are also less able to participate actively in politics and public life – another fundamental right – because of their unfair share of unpaid care. Practical considerations such as time and lack of childcare provision prevent many women from participating in public forums ranging from national parliaments to community groups. Hence, many decisions crucial to their lives and livelihoods are taken without them in the room.

Undoubtedly, moving towards a fairer distribution of unpaid care will require profound socio-cultural change. However, governments have a crucial role to play in moving towards the more equal sharing of care, for example through education and awareness-raising campaigns, but also in a more immediate sense by more effectively supporting and providing care. Ensuring quality, accessible public services and care services, especially in poorer areas, can help to liberate women from unsustainably large burdens of care provision, as can improving infrastructure (piped water, decent roads) and subsidizing affordable time-saving technology such as fuel-efficient stoves.

Unfortunately, there are striking examples of governments around the world doing exactly the opposite. As Fawcett Society and the Women’s Budget Group have shown, austerity measures in the UK are having a disproportionate impact on women; but the vandalism of austerity is not confined to Britain or even Europe. Recent research has shown that developing countries (many of them barely recovered from the similarly destructive effects of structural adjustment) are slashing public budgets with as much – or more – alacrity as their European counterparts. It goes without saying that their populations can even less afford to lose the services and benefits being cut.

Wherever public services are cut, legislators and policy-makers are acting on the implicit assumption that women will take up the slack. In countries afflicted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, ‘home-based care’ for people suffering from AIDS has been celebrated as a policy innovation. Really, it represents only an intensive scaling up of the norm – handing the burden back to poor women, away from overwhelmed and under-resourced health services. Women and girls provide 70-90% of HIV/AIDS care, while the virus also affects women in greater numbers than men.  The finances, equipment, drugs and training that these caregivers need to perform their work without jeopardizing their own health and livelihoods remain largely unrealized. 80 per cent of family caregivers in South Africa have reported reduced income levels.

The evidence is clear that countries with greater gender equality in employment and education report higher rates of human development and economic growth. Thus, for reasons from principled to pragmatic, we should be devoting every possible effort to correcting the obscenely skewed distribution of unpaid care. Currently, ‘women’s empowerment’ is one of the most oft-cited priorities in the halls of the UN and development agencies.  However, without a real recognition of unpaid care as a fundamental factor limiting women’s rights and life chances, empowerment is a mirage: akin to promising to end violence against women while ignoring domestic violence. Is a women empowered if she takes a low-paid job in a garment factory with no social security, only to start her second shift of domestic ‘duties’ as soon as she gets home, pausing only for a few hours’ sleep? To truly empower woman would mean respecting care work as valuable and productive, giving it status, encouraging men to do it, and supporting it with resources and services. It would mean freeing women’s time and potential, enabling them and supporting them to go out to work if they are able, ensuring they are given ample opportunity for training and advancement, and access to childcare.

Hopefully, 2014 will be the year when unpaid care work is recognised as a core women’s rights issue. There will be ample opportunities to make the connection between care, poverty, gender inequality and denial of women’s rights – for example at the Commission on the Status of Women and in discussions around the global development agenda to succeed the Millennium Development Goals in 2015. Some organizations that work on poverty and development – most notably ActionAid, Oxfam, and the Institute for Development Studies – which is using animation as part of this work –  are now taking this issue seriously. Hopefully human rights organizations will follow suit, including unpaid care work in their women’s rights analyses and priorities, alongside issues such as violence against women, reproductive rights and employment. Hopefully, we will also start to see human rights jurisprudence further recognising the impacts of inadequate State support for unpaid care, and making recommendations for its redistribution.

Care is non-negotiable and fundamental. It has to be done. It can be a huge source of fulfillment and joy; but we also have to acknowledge that it can also entail heavy costs, especially for women living in poverty. The way it is currently distributed between women and men is unjust and unsustainable. In all countries, unsupported and unshared care work perpetuates women’s poverty, political marginalization and social subordination. We cannot hope to achieve gender equality without fully facing up to this injustice. The distribution of care is not natural or inevitable, but rather socially constructed and in our power to change.

From: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/kate-donald/unpaid-care-missing-women%E2%80%99s-rights-issue?utm_source=50.50+list&utm_campaign=509bb37639-RSS_5050_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_89d6c8b9eb-509bb37639-407822177

Quel salaire pour les mères au foyer ? How Much is Your Mom Worth?

Quel salaire pour les mères au foyer ?

ELLE.frELLE.fr – 

Si mère au foyer était une qualification reconnue, les Américaines gagneraient très bien leur vie. Le site américain ” Salary ” a estimé, après avoir effectué un sondage auprès de 6 000 mères en 2013, que les tàches qu’elles accomplissent devraient leur rapporter 6 917 euros par mois. Soit un salaire non négligeable de 83 006 E par an. Selon ” Salary “, une mère au foyer américaine travaille en effet environ 94 heures chaque semaine et fait appel à une multitude de compétences : taxi, femme de ménage, psychologue, cuisinière, ou encore professeure. Plus généralement, le site permet à chaque femme de calculer son salaire virtuel, en indiquant combien d’enfants elle a, si elle a un travail, où elle vit, et combien de temps elle consacre à chaque tàche.Les femmes seraient mieux payées que les hommesSi le travail domestique était reconnu, les hommes auraient pour la première fois un salaire inférieur à celui des femmes. Les pères ne passent en effet que 55,7 heures par semaine à s’occuper des tàches ménagères, selon ” Salary “. ” Cette étude est faite simplement pour s’amuser et n’est en aucun cas purement scientifique “, a toutefois précisé le site dans son article. Il n’empêche : une fois de plus, les inégalités femmes/hommes restent frappantes.

From: http://fr.pourelles.yahoo.com/salaire-m%C3%A8res-au-foyer-144257731.html

Salary.com’s 13th Annual Mom Salary Survey

How Much is Your Mom Worth?

Moms. We love them and for good reason. After all, they brought us into the world, raised us, taught us right from wrong and supported us in just about everything we’ve ever done. Biological? Adopted? It doesn’t matter. We owe our mothers everything. And even though they’re too selfless to collect, Salary.com is giving you the chance to hand your mom a check on Mother’s Day by going to our Mom Salary Wizard and finding out what your mom would be paid if moms were – you know – actually compensated.

So that’s why, for the 13th consecutive year, Salary.com surveyed more than 6,000 moms to find out what their top 10 most time-consuming jobs are and how much time per week they spend on each. Then we applied our extensive salary data to each job, factored in the number of hours worked including overtime, crunched all the numbers and POOF – we get an estimate of what mothers would make if they were paid an annual salary.


For more details go to:


Women and men in family farming – recognizing their contributions and challenges

©FAO/Antonello Proto / FAO

Family farming and smallholder farming are an important basis for sustainable food production throughout the world. While family farms tend to be highly efficient in terms of agricultural productivity per unit of land, those that produce on a small or medium scale have limited bargaining power and capacity to defend their interests in food markets.

Beyond an agricultural model, family farming is a way of life, where both men and women have different roles and responsibilities. As elsewhere, what men and women do and are responsible for is largely determined by what is socially considered acceptable. In many cultures, men serve more often as managers – making decisions about what crops to plant, how much land to use, whether to make by-products and where to sell the food. Their tasks on the family farm can also include preparing the soil for planting and harvesting, while women usually do the planting, weeding and post-harvest processing. It is the combination of men’s and women’s efforts that make family farming work.

The challenges family farmers, especially women, face also include the lack of a clear line to divide family life and work. National data from a number of countries show that most unpaid family farmers are women, who also work longer hours than men when both agricultural work and household chores are counted.

Family farmers, who tend to be unsalaried workers, miss out on benefits, such as retirement, maternity leave and child care. And here women face greater disadvantages. Female managers of family farms tend to own less land and livestock than their male counterparts, and have less access to financial credit and services, markets to sell their products and time-saving technology. Climate change, food price volatility and economic globalization also create difficulties for family farms.

To highlight the important contribution that family farming and smallholder farming can make to food security and poverty eradication, the year 2014 was named the International Year of Family Farming by the UN. “FAO and partners will hold consultations, encouraging countries to adoption policies that support family farmers with social protection programmes and rural services, including medical care and agricultural extension and training,” says Ana Paula Dela O Campos, FAO Gender Policy Officer. “If agricultural policies are designed to respond to both women’s and men’s needs and consider their roles in family agriculture,” she explains, “they will be in a stronger position to increase agricultural production and reduce rural poverty.”

What is family farming? Family farming, or family agriculture, is a means of organizing agricultural, forestry, fisheries, pastoral and aquaculture production, which is managed and operated by a family and predominantly  reliant on family labour, that of both women and men. The family and the farm are linked, co-evolve and combine economic, environmental, reproductive, social and cultural functions.

From: http://www.fao.org/gender/gender-home/gender-insight/gender-insightdet/en/c/195767/


Making the Invisible Visible: Valuing women’s work and challenging gender bias in agriculture and resource rights


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Women’s Earth Alliance

Blog by Rucha Chitnis,WEA’s South Asia Program Director
Yashoda is slowly stepping into a leadership role in her community
“A woman is not recognized for her work,” declares Yashoda, a woman farmer in the drought-prone area of Challekere in Karnataka, India.  Yashoda is among many women farmers, who believe that they are not valued for the multiple roles they juggle as farmers, resource managers, caregivers and homemakers.

“Sometimes I wonder why I work so hard when the land is not on my name,” Yashoda continues.  We are on a small family farm, meeting women farmers, who share how gender discrimination defines how women’s immense contribution to agriculture is often overlooked and undermined. Gender inequalities also erode women’s ability to access and manage land and other productive resources and pose as a significant barrier to promoting their economic security and self reliance.

According to the United Nations Populations Fund, women work longer hours than men, in almost every country, but are usually paid less and are more likely to live in poverty. This is the same case in agriculture as well, where gendered roles imply that women perform almost all aspects of farming and post harvest activities but receive little recognition for their efforts. In India, as in many parts of the Global South, women farmers are key food producers and biodiversity managers, yet their labor remains invisible and unrecognized in their own communities and in broader policymaking.
Women farmers are learning about the importance of seed saving
of native crops  during drought conditions
A series of grants from Women’s Earth Alliance is enabling our partner, the GREEN Foundation (GREEN), to address this gender bias in agriculture and mentor women farmers, like Yashoda, as community leaders, who in turn will act as mentors and resource people to other women in their communities in sustainable agriculture and promote rights of women as farmers.
Over the past 18 months, the GREEN team has worked hard to offer a holistic capacity building program for women farmers; these include peer to peer exchanges with farmers who are pioneering sustainable agriculture practices and are diversifying their livelihoods through poultry management and growing fruit trees with food crops. Challekere is a drought-prone area and women, as water primary water collectors, bear a disproportionate brunt of this scarcity. Recognizing the impact of these gendered roles on women, GREEN has also trained them on making “wicking” beds, a water efficient and space saving method for vegetable cultivation and on other dry land management practices.
“We aim to break through mental, social and cultural barriers that define women’s lives, in order that they may become true leaders of their communities. An important aspect of our approach, therefore, involves initiating discussion platforms that create an inclusive, safe atmosphere for women to express their struggles and gain the confidence needed to become strong advocates for their own cause,” notes Veena Hassan, a gender expert and the former project director at GREEN.
Rural women are often sidelined in political leadership and decision-making, and GREEN staff have oriented women farmers on Panchayat (local self governing units) schemes and services and have  mentored women to embrace their leadership in their respective villages so that they can demand their rightful entitlements by forming peer pressure groups if they were denied any services due to corruption or exploitation of poor farmers.
Veena believes that self-sustenance of women at, both, individual and community level is crucial and that promoting sustainable agriculture practices with a strong framework of human rights is an approach that has great potential for creating a peaceful, ecologically balanced and just society.
“I felt like I was in a well and now I am surfacing and swimming in a bigger world,” reflects Yashoda on the impact of her participation in GREEN’s women’s leadership program.
Veena Hassan, far left, believes that women need to embrace their
leadership at, both, the individual and community level

Unpaid work in France: 3h17 per day, 32% of GDP

Le travail non rémunéré en France, 3h17 par jour, 32% du PIB

– Publié le 12/04/2011 à 23:42 –

PARIS (Reuters) – Cuisiner, garder les enfants, faire les courses, promener le chien: le travail non rémunéré accapare en moyenne 3h17 du temps des Français chaque jour, soit une heure de plus qu’en Corée du Sud et une heure de moins qu’au Mexique, montre le “Panorama de la société” 2011 publié mardi par l’OCDE.

Ces tâches sont classées comme “travail” par l’Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques tout simplement parce qu’elles pourraient être effectuées par quelqu’un d’autre, à la différence, par exemple, de la toilette, du sommeil ou des loisirs.

Et leur poids économique est loin d’être négligeable: valorisées à leur “coût de remplacement”, c’est à dire au prix que représenterait leur réalisation par un professionnel, elles pèsent 32% du produit intérieur brut (PIB) en France, un chiffre très proche de la moyenne de l’OCDE.

Sur les 29 pays suivis par l’organisation internationale, le travail non rémunéré représente 3 heures et 27 minutes par jour. Les données s’échelonnent de 2h16 pour la Corée du Sud à 4h13 pour les Mexicains.

En additionnant travaux rémunérés et non rémunérés, les Mexicains sont occupés près de dix heures par jour, contre 8h04 en moyenne dans l’OCDE et 7h28 en France. Les Belges ferment la marche avec un temps de travail moyen de 7h07.

Les chiffres de l’OCDE montrent que les populations des pays asiatiques consacrent moins de temps aux travaux non rémunérés que les pays européens, qu’ils soient latins ou nordiques. Ce qui s’explique notamment par un temps de travail rémunéré bien supérieur.

En terme de poids du travail non rémunéré dans l’économie, la France se situe dans la moyenne de l’ensemble de l’OCDE et tout près de la plupart de ses voisins européens. Mais la fourchette est large puisqu’elle va de 19% du PIB seulement en Corée du Sud à 53% au Portugal.


Les différences sont dans les détails: les parents français consacrent ainsi moins d’une heure par jour à leurs enfants, contre 1h51 en moyenne dans l’OCDE et près de quatre heures, par exemple, en Irlande.

Pour ce qui est de la cuisine et de la vaisselle, l’étude montre que 63% des adultes y participent en France alors que ce taux avoisine 80% dans les pays scandinaves et qu’il dépasse tout juste 50% aux Etats-Unis.

Le panorama de l’OCDE met aussi en évidence la persistance d’un certain nombre de stéréotypes solidement ancrés sur le partage des tâches entre hommes et femmes, du moins en France.

En caricaturant à peine, les femmes cuisinent, font le ménage et prennent soin des enfants pendant que les hommes bricolent. Le contraste est parfois très marqué: les hommes consacrent en moyenne 21 minutes par jour à la cuisine et à la vaisselle… contre 83 minutes pour les femmes.

Un rapport du simple au quadruple qui vaut aussi pour le ménage tandis qu’il est d’un pour trois pour le temps consacré aux enfants (12 minutes quotidiennes pour les hommes, 35 pour les femmes) et qu’il s’inverse pour le bricolage (13 minutes pour les hommes, trois minutes pour les femmes).

Au total, les femmes françaises consacrent 4h18 par jour à des travaux non rémunérés, contre 2h16 pour les hommes, un écart un peu inférieur à la moyenne OCDE (4h39 contre 2h11).

Le temps nettement supérieur consacré par les femmes au travail non rémunéré et son poids global dans l’économie incitent à conclure qu’un taux de féminisation accru de la population active pourrait favoriser la croissance, en “réintégrant” dans le PIB une partie des tâches qui en sont aujourd’hui exclues.

Un pas que l’OCDE ne franchit pas, tout en notant que “les données nationales croisées suggèrent que ce processus se produit”.

Marc Angrand, édité par Jean-Baptiste Vey

From: http://www.lepoint.fr/fil-info-reuters/le-travail-non-remunere-en-france-3h17-par-jour-32-du-pib-12-04-2011-1318604_240.php

Travail familial non-rémunéré et PIB, un projet dans le vent ?

Concernée par une réelle émancipation, c’est à dire par la possibilité réelle d’autodétermination et de choix de vie,  de chaque femme, Monique Geens-Wittemans qui, au fil de rencontres nationales et internationales dans le cadre de son engagement dans le mouvement pour la reconnaissance du travail familial non-rémunéré, a développé un réel intérêt pour le suivi donné à la revendication lancée au début des années 70, visant à introduire le travail familial non rémunéré dans le calcul du PIB, nous a livré ses réflexions sous la forme d’une lettre adressée aux dirigeants européens et belges, en préparation de la future présidence belge. Nous sommes heureux d’en présenter la substance à nos lecteurs.

 Qui voudrait lire le texte intégral de l’auteur le trouvera sur notre site web – http://www.forum-européen-des-femmes.eu – en français et néerlandais – langue de l’auteur – dans la section « écho». Ne manquez pas de nous communiquer vos réflexions sur ces propositions, nous les transmettrons à l’auteur.

 « L’air que nous respirons et le travail familial – particulièrement le travail de soin et d’attention (« Care ») – ont en commun qu’ils sont tous deux aussi essentiels qu’invisibles ». Cette phrase de Monique Geens-Wittemans met en exergue un projet qui est dans l’air depuis bien des années : l’introduction du travail familial non-rémunéré dans les comptes satellites du PIB, réclamée – entre autres – par les Conférences Mondiales des Femmes de Nairobi (1985) et Pékin (1995) ainsi que, plus récemment, par le rapport de la Commission Stiglitz, remis le 14 septembre 2009 par ses auteurs  Joseph Stiglitz, président de la Commission sur la mesure des performances économiques et du progrès social, et Amartya Sen, son conseiller, tous deux Prix Nobel d’Economie.

Le Produit Intérieur Brut, ou PIB, est un indicateur économique qui mesure le niveau de production d’un pays: production marchande (biens matériels) ou non-marchande (services). Sont exclus du PIB  les biens et services produits et consommés au sein même des ménages, ainsi que les activités domestiques, telles que l’éducation des enfants, la prise en charge d’un parent malade, … exécutées au foyer encore majoritairement assumées par les femmes.

Cependant la famille   est un acteur de la vie économique d’un pays, et, comme le rappelle Monique Geens-Wittemans, « le premier amortisseur en cas de crise». Or le stress causé par une situation de crise «peut détruire la cohésion familiale et mener à la désintégration sociale». Il convient donc d’instaurer des mesures de soutien à la famille. La mesure et l’évaluation du travail familial procurerait un instrument objectif à cet effet. Le travail familial non-rémunéré devrait donc être compris dans les comptes satellites du PIB.

  • Selon la définition de l’INSEE, Institut National (français) de la Statistique et des Etudes Economique, «un compte satellite est un cadre de présentation des données de l’économie d’un domaine particulier en relation avec l’analyse économique globale du cadre central de la comptabilité nationale. L’éducation, la santé, la protection sociale, l’environnement en sont des exemples.»

Des idées de mesures ont déjà été proposées à ce sujet par la Commission Stiglitz, du nom de son fondateur Joseph Stiglitz, créée le 8 janvier 2008 sur l’initiative de Nicolas Sarkozy afin de développer une «réflexion sur les moyens d’échapper à une approche trop quantitative, trop comptable de la mesure de nos performances collectives», d’élaborer de nouveaux indicateurs de richesse, et d’«élargir la mesure des revenus aux activités non-marchandes». Le Figaro, qui a eu l’occasion de détenir le rapport Stiglitz, écrit que cette commission travaille sur trois principaux sujets: «remettre les individus au centre de toute analyse», «mieux valoriser le montant des transferts en nature de l’État vers les ménages» et « la question du développement durable».

La Commission européenne reprend cette idée dans la communication « Le PIB et au-delà – Mesurer le progrès d’un monde en mutation », Bruxelles, 20 août 2008, COM(2009) 433 final, cf.


Le document recommande l’extension des comptes nationaux aux thématiques tant sociales qu’environnementales. Cependant l’élaboration des indicateurs relatifs à l’environnement sera entamée dès 2010, alors que celle de comptes supplémentaires relatifs aux aspects sociaux est remise à plus long terme. Or, remarque Monique Geens-Wittemans, selon l’Eurobaromètre de novembre 2009, disponible en ligne sur: http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/09/1858&format=HTML&aged=0&language=FR&guiLanguage=fr, pour 69% des Européens la pauvreté est la première préoccupation,   les problèmes environnementaux venant en second lieu (63%); de précédentes études Eurobaromètre rapportent que la famille tient lieu de première valeur et priorité, avant l’emploi. Pour notre auteur, «l’introduction du travail familial non-rémunéré dans des comptes satellites du PIB […] démontrera à de nombreux eurosceptiques que l’UE n’est pas uniquement une froide construction économique où l’être humain n’est perçu que comme une unité numérique dans un système purement mathématique», ce qui contribuerait à donner de l’Union européenne une image plus humaine et sociale, en cette année 2010 déclarée année européenne de combat contre la pauvreté et l’exclusion.

Dans l’optique de Monique Geens-Wittemans, la révision de la stratégie de Lisbonne et la modernisation des systèmes nationaux de sécurité sociale au sein de l’UE, qui doivent se réaliser, forment deux raisons de procéder à introduire le travail familial non rémunéré dans les comptes satellites du PIB.  En effet tout individu, dès sa naissance, a droit au respect de ses besoins d’attention et de soins personnels,  et  «pourvoir à ces besoins est tout aussi essentiel à la survie de la communauté que l’est la production de produits d’alimentation, la défense du territoire et l’élaboration d’une politique pourvoyant aux besoins de la communauté».

Ces besoins et soins sont la plupart du temps assurés par les mères ou les femmes qui «organisent, interrompent ou cessent leur participation au marché du travail en fonction du besoin de soin au sein de la famille».   Cette prise en charge ne peut donner lieu à la fragilisation de ces personnes comme c’est le cas actuellement.  «Voilà pourquoi il est nécessaire, lors de la révision de la stratégie de Lisbonne, et plus particulièrement de la réorganisation du marché de l’emploi en fonction du cycle de vie par le moyen d’un système de sécurité sociale moderne (voir A, Ligne Directrice 18 de la stratégie actuelle), de prendre en considération l’entièreté de la population en âge d’exercer une activité professionnelle et non les seuls travailleurs, ainsi que d’élargir la notion de participation au travail en reconnaissant le travail familial non-rémunéré comme participation sociale et en y attachant des droits sociaux appropriés, indépendamment de tout statut d’emploi. Ainsi sont à la fois conjugués les besoins des familles et le besoin d’un degré d’autonomie financière des parents au sein du couple; ainsi chaque parent a-t-il la possibilité réelle de se développer tout au long de sa vie, à son propre rythme et selon ses propres priorités. Il convient d’attacher ici une attention toute particulière non seulement aux familles confrontées à la pauvreté mais aussi de prendre des mesures préventives adéquates…».   L’introduction du travail familial non-rémunéré permettra ainsi un meilleur calcul des allocations en fonction du nombre de personnes dans la famille ainsi que selon la dépendance de chacun.

Marie-Bernard Lejeune

From: http://www.forum-europeen-des-femmes.eu/travail-familial-non-remunere-et-pib-un-projet-dans-le-vent-809

Complément au PIB : IndicateursTravail rémunéré et non rémunéré – Travail non rémunéré

Complément au PIB – IndicateursTravail rémunéré et non rémunéré – Travail non rémunéré

L’indicateur « Volume de travail non rémunéré » montre l‘importance du travail non rémunéré et de ses composantes en Suisse, la contribution des femmes et des hommes ainsi que l’évolution entre 1997 et 2010.
La combinaison de résultats au niveau des personnes et des ménages (temps consacré au travail non rémunéré selon la situation familiale et le sexe) avec une perspective macroéconomique ainsi que la présentation d’indicateurs monétaires et non monétaires (volume de travail non rémunéré par an, évaluation monétaire du travail non rémunéré) forment la base d’une meilleure appréhension des relations entre travail rémunéré et travail non rémunéré à tous les niveaux de la société.
Le compte satellite de la production des ménages, qui calcule une valeur ajoutée du travail non rémunéré sous la forme d’un modèle, permet une comparaison directe avec les agrégats de la statistique macroéconomique (PIB, consommation, investissements, etc.).
L’engagement bénévole de la population peut en outre servir d’indicateur de la cohésion sociale. On peut citer ici comme exemple une analyse sur les prestations non rémunérées des aînés (cf. publication Démos 1/2010, page 11ss :
http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/fr/index/news/publikationen.html?publicationID=3865 Site externe. La page s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.). Parmi ces prestations figurent notamment les soins non rémunérés prodigués au ou à la partenaire dans le propre ménage et les aides informelles pour d’autres ménages telles que la prise en charge des petits-enfants : le temps investi par les personnes de 65 ans et plus dans de telles activités atteint environ 363 millions d’heures (en 2007), soit la durée normale de travail de 53’000 postes à plein temps.

Sources: OFS, Enquête suisse sur la population

Etat avril 2012

En 2010, la population résidante permanente de 15 ans et plus a consacré quelque 8,2 milliards d’heures aux tâches domestiques et familiales et au travail bénévole. Cela correspond à 22 heures en moyenne par personne pour une semaine. Près de deux tiers de ces heures ont été accomplies par des femmes (63%).
Les tâches domestiques ont représenté 6,3 milliards d’heures au total, soit les trois quarts du volume global du travail non rémunéré exprimé en heures. Les tâches de prise en charge d’enfants ou d’adultes nécessitant des soins dans le ménage ont totalisé 1,3 milliard d’heures par an (16% du volume global). 640 millions d’heures ont été investies dans le travail bénévole (8% du volume global).
Le temps consacré au travail non rémunéré a augmenté de 5% environ entre 1997 et 2010. Le volume du travail non rémunéré accompli par les hommes s’est accru de 4 points depuis 1997 pour atteindre 37% du volume global.
Selon les estimations pour 2010, la production des ménages contribue à raison de 44% environ à l’économie nationale élargie des prestations non rémunérées. Cette part fluctue entre 44% et 47% depuis 1997.

En Suisse, le travail non rémunéré représente un volume plus important que celui du travail rémunéré. La statistique du volume du travail de l’OFS fait état pour l’année 2010 d’un volume effectif de travail de 7,5 milliards d’heures payées. Entre 1997 et 2010, ce volume s’est accru de quelque 14% (d’environ 22% pour les femmes et d’environ 10% pour les hommes).
Avec la forte hausse du nombre de ménages dit « à double revenu » au cours des 20 dernières années, on peut se demander qui va assurer à l’avenir les travaux domestiques et la prise en charge des enfants, comment va-t-on concilier vie active et vie familiale et quelles en seront les conséquences. De plus, on peut supposer qu’une partie importante de l’accroissement du revenu de ces ménages est engloutie dans des dépenses supplémentaires (par ex. pour la prise en charge des enfants).
Pour pouvoir évaluer l’évolution du bien-être et de la qualité de la vie, il est donc nécessaire d’avoir des connaissances approfondies sur l’organisation de la production non rémunérée des ménages. L’augmentation de la charge totale des parents montre que même si les mères exercent plus souvent une activité professionnelle, le temps qu’elles consacrent en particulier aux tâches familiales n’a que très peu diminué (voir aussi l’analyse: Temps consacré au travail domestique et familial: évolutions de 1997 à 2007. OFS, Neuchâtel 2009 Site externe. La page s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre.). Les pères et les mères investissent aujourd’hui nettement plus de temps à la prise en charge des enfants qu’en 1997.
Le volume de temps consacré au travail non rémunéré est en outre lié à l’évolution démographique. Le nombre de ménages privés Site externe. La page s'ouvrira dans une nouvelle fenêtre. a progressé d’un peu plus de 10% entre 2000 et 2010, alors que celui des ménages d’une personne et des ménages formés d’un couple sans enfant s’est dans le même temps accru de respectivement 15% et 16% environ. Si le nombre de couples avec enfant(s) est resté au même niveau qu’en 2000, celui des familles monoparentales a parallèlement augmenté de plus de 14%.

Comparaison internationale
Il n’est pas encore possible d’établir des comparaisons internationales. Différents groupes de travail de l’OCDE et d’Eurostat travaillent à une harmonisation des définitions.

From: http://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/portal/fr/index/themen/00/09/blank/ind42.indicator.420009.420002.html

Women’s invisible work: Public strategies that are explicitly oriented towards reducing and redistributing unpaid work will do more than just help the women in the economy.

Invisible work


Public strategies that are explicitly oriented towards reducing and redistributing unpaid work will do more than just help the women in the economy.


A woman and her daughters collecting firewood on the outskirts of Berhampur in Orissa. Subsistence work done by women is not counted as an economic activity.  

WORK defines the conditions of human existence in many ways. This may be even more relevant for women than for men because the responsibility for social reproduction – which largely devolves upon women in most societies – ensures that the vast majority of women are inevitably involved in some kind of productive and/or reproductive activity.

Despite this, in mainstream discussion, the importance of women’s work generally receives marginal treatment simply because so much of the work they regularly perform is “invisible” in terms of market criteria or even in terms of socially dominant perceptions of what constitutes “work”. This leads to the social underestimation of women’s productive contribution and also means that inadequate attention is typically devoted to the conditions of women’s work and their implications for the general material conditions and well-being of women.

This is particularly true in developing countries, where patterns of market integration and the relatively high proportion of goods and services that are not marketed have implied that women’s contributions to productive activity extend well beyond those that are socially recognised and that the conditions under which many of these contributions are made entail significant pressure on women in a variety of ways.

In almost all societies, and particularly in developing countries, there remain essential but usually unpaid activities (such as housework and child care and community-based activities) that are seen as the responsibility of the women of the household. This social allocation tends to operate regardless of other work that women may perform.

For working women in lower-income groups, it is particularly difficult to find outside labour to substitute for household-based tasks, which therefore tend to devolve upon the young girls and aged women within the household or to put further pressure on the workload of the women workers themselves. In fact, it is wrong to assume that unpaid tasks by women would continue regardless of the way resources and incomes are allocated. “Gender neutral” economic policies may thus result in possible breaking points within the household or the collapse of women’s capacity.

Social provision for at least a significant part of such services and tasks or changes in the gender-wise division of labour with respect to household tasks, therefore, become important considerations when women are otherwise employed.

The relative invisibility of much of women’s work is now more widely recognised. Since many of the activities associated with household maintenance, provisioning and reproduction are not subject to explicit market relations, there is an inherent tendency to ignore the actual productive contribution of these activities. Similarly, social norms, values and perceptions also operate to render most household-based activity “invisible”. This invisibility gets directly transferred to data inadequacies, making officially generated data in most countries (and particularly in developing countries) very rough and imprecise indicators of the actual productive contribution of women.

Inaccurate data


CHILDREN IN A Khasi village in Meghalaya helping to grind paddy. The Khasis are matriarchal, and apart from other outside work, all the household work is done by women.  

This means that the data on the participation of women in the labour force are notoriously inaccurate. Not only are the problems of undercounting and invisibility rife, but there are often substantial variations in data across countries, which may not reflect actual differences but may simply be a result of distinct methods of estimation. Further, even statistics over time for the same country may alter dramatically as a result of changed definitions of what constitutes “economically active” or because of more probing questions put to women or simply because of greater sensitivity on the part of the investigators.

The impact of social structures is reflected not merely in the data but in the actual determination of explicit labour market participation by women. Thus, in certain regions of India, social norms determine the choice between participation in production and involvement in reproduction and consequently inhibit the freedom of women to participate in the job market or engage in other forms of overt self-employment. The limitations on such freedom can take many forms. While the explicit social rules of some societies limit women’s access to many areas of public life, the implicit pressures in other supposedly more emancipated societies may operate no less forcefully to direct women into certain prescribed occupational channels.

All this is why the new book on unpaid work, Unpaid Work and the Economy: Gender, Time-use and Poverty in Developing Countries (edited by Rania Antonopoulos and Indira Hirway; Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), is so important.

The book combines methodological, theoretical, technical, empirical and policy-oriented discussion on this issue, which has been so understudied by economists and other social scientists. It raises two critical sets of questions: How does unpaid work affect the outcomes of the economy, and how does the paid economy impact the unpaid economy? How can the recognition of unpaid work be used to integrate it with development strategy? The first chapter, by the editors, provides an excellent introduction to the conceptual and empirical issues involved and shows the link to macroeconomic processes. Unpaid work can be seen as a subsidy to state provisioning or to private agents operating in markets, and either of these “externalities” are actually manifestations of a structural system that uses gender constructions to be exploitative and generate significant inequalities in time-use.

Vicious circle

Several other chapters in the book provide evidence based on time-use studies in various countries, ranging from Bolivia and South Africa to India and the Philippines. The evidence provided suggests clearly that most unpaid work is performed by women who are trapped in a vicious circle of drudgery and poverty and is driven not only by economic circumstances but by the availability of physical and social infrastructure. This underscores the importance of providing quality public services (especially in health, sanitation, child care, and so on) and infrastructure, of technological advances in typically unpaid activities that are time consuming and demanding, and of greater attention to the management and regeneration of natural resources.

This book makes the important point that while better statistics and data collection methods are essential they are not enough, and the recognition of unpaid work should not remain confined to giving it greater visibility by “counting” it. Rather, the point is, through knowing and interpreting the reality, one has to change it. So first of all, one must recognise the various categories of unpaid work in relation to production processes and daily fulfilment of basic needs. Four categories are defined in the book: unpaid work of family workers in family enterprises; subsistence work (such as collection of fuelwood and water for the household); unpaid household work such as cleaning and washing; and care of the other members of the household, including children, the old and the sick.

This then allows for a better understanding of how the conditions under which this work is performed hinders the integration of people’s labouring capabilities with desired development strategies. It is obvious that unpaid work requires both reduction overall (through more and better public provision, better infrastructure and technological changes) and redistribution to ensure more equitable burden, especially across gender. But the different categories of unpaid work may need to be addressed differently in terms of required policy responses. Thus, some forms of subsistence unpaid work would definitely be reduced through more and better public provision, especially of basic utilities and services. But reductions in unpaid care activities require a more careful and sensitive approach, such that public provision is made with sufficient resources and in a way that does not impede early childhood development or the adequate care of the aged and the sick.

The issue of unpaid work is often seen as a “gender” issue, and indeed, because of the way that it is distributed in most societies, it is certainly so. But the contribution of this book is to show that it is much more than that and is actually fundamentally a development issue. Public strategies that are explicitly oriented towards reducing and redistributing unpaid work will do more than help the women in the economy; they will make economic processes overall more stable, sustainable and productive.

From: http://www.frontline.in/navigation/?type=static&page=flonnet&rdurl=fl2703/stories/20100212270308100.htm

Volume 27 – Issue 03 :: Jan. 30-Feb. 12, 2010