Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) yesterday urged the government to recognise the contribution of women’s unpaid work to the economy and take concrete steps to include it in the national GDP estimation for raising the status and image of women in families and the society.
“Non-recognition of women’s unpaid work is devaluing their contribution and resulting in discrimination and violence against them,” MJF Executive Director Shaheen Anam said in a statement, ahead of the national budget for fiscal 2019-20 set to be placed in parliament on Thursday.
“It is high time to right
Include unpaid work the wrong and the injustice that have continued for decades. We urge the government to take concrete actions to recognise unpaid reproductive and productive yet unaccounted work of women, which includes household work and work in agriculture activities.
“Research shows that their workload and time in non-SNA [System of National Account] activities are on average three times more than men,” Shaheen said.
Citing the findings of a study -- “Women’s Unaccounted Work and Contribution to the Economy” -- commissioned by MJF, Shaheen said that the estimated value of women’s unpaid non-SNA (household) work, if monetised, would be equivalent to 76.8 to 87.2 percent of the GDP (FY 2014-2015).
More importantly, if women’s unpaid work was to be monetised it would amount to 2.5 or 2.9 times higher than the income received from paid services, the study revealed.
“Recognition of women’s unaccounted work in the GDP is necessary to achieve SDG 5.4 and 5.4.1 indicators and meet commitments given by the Government of Bangladesh at different international forums,” she added.
Shaheen also referred to the Oxfam report launched at the recent DAVOS meeting which had calculated women’s unpaid work globally at 10 trillion US dollars annually.
“MJF stands ready to collaborate with the government to calculate the SNA so that women’s unpaid work is included in the GDP. Such measures will also contribute to reducing wage discrimination against women and facilitate women’s engagement in formal work,” she said.