Life in Gurgaon

Unpaid work done by women worth 43-times Apple’s annual turnover: Report

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Unpaid work done by women across the globe amounts to a staggering USD 10 trillion a year, which is 43 times the annual turnover of the world’s biggest company Apple, an Oxfam study said Monday.

In India, the unpaid work done by women looking after their homes and children is worth 3.1 per cent of the country’s GDP. Women spend 312 minutes per day in urban areas and 291 minutes per day in rural areas on such unpaid care work, it added.

In comparison, men spend only 29 minutes in urban and 32 minutes in rural areas on unpaid care work.

The report, released by the international rights group before the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in this Swiss ski resort town, also said women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality, including in India.

Oxfam said inequality has a “female face” in India, where women are less likely to have paid work when compared to men, while even among the richest there are only 9 women in the country’s 119-member billionaires club.

The paid work women do bring them less earnings as compared to men due to the existing wage gap and therefore households that rely primarily on female earners tend to be poorer, it said, referring to the country’s gender pay gap at 34 per cent.

It observed that various intersections of caste, class, religion, age and sexual orientation have further implications on women inequality as a process.

The Oxfam study also referred to India’s poor 108th ranking on the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Index of 2018, saying it was 10 notches less than in 2006 and far below the global average and behind its neighbours China and Bangladesh.

Oxfam said India has many laws that deal with violence against women, but their implementation remains a challenge, including due to a deeply patriarchal society.

It said a law to deal with sexual harassment at workplace was passed in 2013 after a struggle by women’s rights organisations and group of lawyers for 17 years, but it is the recent #MeToo movement in India that has opened the doors for the organised workforce to ensure that mechanisms are in place and due process is followed.