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ED: Recognizing the value of unpaid work

  • Published at 07:14 am December 7th, 2020
household chores domestic work
In Bangladesh, 85% of women who already spend a large part of their waking hours in full-time jobs also have to spend more than four hours of regular unpaid care work when they return to their homes Shekhar Mondal

It is about time that we brought to the forefront the unseen contributions of women

It is a tragedy that, even now, women in the country face uncountable legal and societal challenges, be it through discrimination in the workplace or the threat of sexual assault on the very street which lies outside of their residence. 

But a more silent oppression occurs through society’s inability to recognize the true value of unpaid work, in which a significant portion of the female population is currently engaged. 

Because of backward perceptions on gender roles -- which, unfortunately, still persists to a great degree amongst the nation’s population -- people tend to consider that work done by women at home is not a matter of choice but an obligation that they must fulfill, and that this work has no monetary value. 

This lack of recognition leads to a false understanding of the dynamics which exist within families, furthering a culture of the disempowerment of women. This is n

ot simply an unjustifiable erasure of the immense contribution of women to their families and society at large but, according to experts, is one of the primary reasons which allow them to be subjugated to abuse, violence, and child marriage. 

It is about time that we brought to the forefront the unseen contributions of women not only inside households, but outside and in our economy too – for example, in rice milling and processing, 65% of the work is done by women but they are hardly ever recognized as contributors or given any agency in the process. 

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