Presentation on theme: "36 th Assembly of the Inter-American Commission for Women 29-30 October, 2012 – San Jose, Costa Rica Women's Economic Empowerment: Reducing the burden."— Presentation transcript:
36 th Assembly of the Inter-American Commission for Women October, 2012 – San Jose, Costa Rica Women's Economic Empowerment: Reducing the burden of care work to increase employment opportunities Yassine Fall Chief, Economic Empowerment Section UN Women
Women in labour market Globally the number of women entering the labour market have increased. However women continue to face many barriers compared to men. Source: World Bank, “Gender Equality and Development.”From: port_2012/overview port_2012/overview
3 sets of Barriers faced by women Vulnerability in employment inequality in wages received Inequality due to intensity and uneven share of unpaid work burden
Vulnerability in employment Half of the world’s working women continue to be in vulnerable employment. As of 2011, the share of women in vulnerable employment. Women were far more likely than men to be in vulnerable employment. Source: ILO, “Global Employment Trends: Preventing a deeper jobs crisis.” From: dgreports/---dcomm/--- publ/documents/publication/wcms_ pdf.p 11 Global Employment Trends: Preventing a deeper jobs crisishttp://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/--- dgreports/---dcomm/--- publ/documents/publication/wcms_ pdf
The inequality in wages received Across all regions and most occupations, women are paid less money than men for the same job, or for work of equal value. In the majority of countries, women’s wages represent between 70 and 90 per cent of men’s wages, with even lower ratios in some Asian and Latin American countries. Source: ILO, “Global Employment Trends for Women.”From: s/publication/wcms_ pdf.p 19 s/publication/wcms_ pdf.p 19
Inequality and unpaid work burden. What was real almost 20 years ago is still real in many parts of the world. The 1995 HDR noted that women accounted for more than half the total burden of work-work time spent either in market based economic activities, in the subsistence sector, or in unpaid household or community activities.
Unpaid care work Unpaid care work is a critical—. When women cannot afford to pay for care, they are often unable to take up paid work, or are restricted to low paid, low-status jobs.. Care obligations also create obstacles to women’s participation in the public sphere.
Labour force Gender gap and Unpaid Work The 2007 Global Monitoring Report shows that the greatest gender gap in labour force participation occurs between the ages of 25 and 49..
Examples In Mexico, for example, on an average day, women devote five and three-quarter hours to domestic activities and childcare – severely limiting the time available for income-generating activities (UNDP 2007). Turkey has one of the lowest rates of female participation in the labour force in the world, ranking 10th from bottom among 130 countries, according to UN 2005 statistics.
Understanding Policy challenges It is often assumed by policymakers, employers and academics that these labour market challenges are only due to low levels of female education However, important factors to be recognized include women’s unpaid care responsibilities within the family and the gender division of labour
Understanding Policy challenges Increasing the female labor participation could translate into a huge economic potential for the overall growth and economic recovery. In addition they need to recognize that Gender differences in access to economic opportunities are driven in part by differences in time use resulting from deep-rooted social norms guiding the distribution of responsibility for paid work, care, and housework..
Addressing the Policy Issues A way to address care work related issues could be looking at the matter through three interconnected dimensions: A. Recognition B. Reduction C. Redistribution A. Recognition Activities such as cooking, cleaning, collecting water and fuel, taking care of children, the elderly, the sick, need to be recognized. A more concerted effort is needed to make such work visible though use of time allocation survey and improved measurement tools. If unpaid care work is not visible to policy makers and planners, it will not be subject to attention or investment.
Reducing Unpaid Work Even if the time burdens of all unpaid care work tasks are not easy to reduce, many tasks can be more efficiently reduced in the short term Investments in infrastructure and labor saving technologies that are focused on household level care task (fuel saving stoves, mills, wells, piped water etc.) could be effective in reducing the time women and girls spend on unpaid care work
Policy Actions B. Reduction (cont.) Such investments might than have a multiplier effect: – for instance in creating jobs for women and man and reducing women’s unpaid care work building on cross sectorial synergies that are critical for achieving the MDGs. Other actions could also include the expansion of essential government services – since these services are an important means of relieving house-holds of unpaid care burdens, creating employment and raising labour productivity. Good Practice: Multifunctional platform in Mali The introduction of the platforms reduced the time required for labour intensive tasks from hours to minutes. - The time saved by women was shifted to income generating activities - Ratio of girls to boys to school improved
Policy Actions C. Redistribution Need of policy measures supporting equitable burden sharing, not only within households but also between and among key providers of care services. Encourage the adoption of legislative and policy measures and programme interventions that are focused on enabling women and men to more effectively balance family and work responsibilities, including: – Flexible working arrangements – Provision of maternal, paternal, and parental leave – The provision of affordable child and elder care services
Policy Actions C. Redistribution (Cont.) Some Best Practices: In Iceland, no distinction is made between paternity and maternity leave, but a nine-month paid leave after childbirth at 80 per cent of salary is granted instead (ILO 2007) In Brazil, several states offer one month of paid paternity leave at the time of birth for government officials. Cuba updated its Decree Law 234 to extend parental leave to fathers during their child’s first year of life Under the Chile Crece Contigo programme, Chile increased the number of public nurseries by 240% compared with 1990
Specific Initiatives at UN Women In July 2012, UN Women joined as a partner the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves with the view to contribute to its agenda in improving the situation for millions of women and their families around the world. UN-Women signed a MoU with the Barefoot College of India on 29 June 2011 to provide a framework of cooperation to scale up and ensure sustainability of solar lightening that is community managed, controlled and owned.