Escudo de la República de Colombia

English

Women continue to work at home and without salary

Care services in Colombian households are on average 13.5 hours of non-remunerated hours a day, with greater load for women.

Bogotá D. C., 30 de junio de 2016Agencia de Noticias UN-

Colombian women continue to contribute more of the work quota at home which is not compensated.

The work grows larger as the personal economic resources are lower.

Taking care of children or the elderly, the working hours at home significantly increase.

People that do housekeeping are relegated to a category of an economically inactive population in the occupational market.

Duque’s master’s thesis received a merit award.

As established by a research project carried out by Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Economic Sciences master’s candidate Carlos Alberto Duque García. Furthermore he also identified the main characteristics of non-compensated housekeeping work and care in Colombia. 

Duque claims that although the purpose of his thesis was not based on gender inequality, it certainly was a phenomenon that stood out when analyzing the data. He discovered that Colombian women –during the study period– carried out 2.4 times more housekeeping chores than men. They perform, on average, 3 hours and 35 minutes more of household tasks than men. 

After visiting dozens of rural and urban households in the Province of Tolima, and as part of the first “Colombian Survey on Time Usage” carried out by the Colombian Administrative Department of Statistics in 2012 and 2013, on 43,000 households (close to 145,000 people), Duque verified this harsh reality. 

On the field he discovered the great differences among the housekeeping responsibilities between men and women. “What drew my attention was that in places with no electricity, women needed to wake up earlier and work up to 10 hours a day preparing food and other housekeeping chores, as not having a stove or a refrigerator they are compelled to carry out additional chores a day.” 

His research project stems from the interest of exploring certain areas of the economy which traditionally are not taken into account, as they focus mainly on merchant areas measured by the GDP. 

People that for instance, take on activities such as children care and do housekeeping are relegated to a category of an economically inactive population in the occupational market, excluding them and marginalizing a large part of this activity. 

Duque’s master’s thesis received a merit award from the judging committee due to the focus novelty and the results obtained.

Type of care 

Duque says that in general the care services carried out in Colombian households represent an important part of the work time which is not economically compensated. On average they are 13.5 hours a day of home care, comprised by 66% for direct care activities and 34% of indirect care. The former are the activities to tend to the basic needs of other people (children care and teaching, keeping an eye on the elderly or sick or inclusively the emotional support of the family); and the latter are general housekeeping activities. 

On working women, when work hours are increased, they devote less time to direct care; and the same thing happens if they are college students or if they live alone. The project also showed that when there is an extra child at home, direct care for women increases to 1 hour 38 minutes, while the projected increase for men is only 31 minutes. 

Regarding the economic condition, households with low incomes have, on average 24 minutes more of housekeeping and non-compensated care than economically better households. However if other variables mentioned above are not controlled, this time can increase to 4 hours 5 minutes.

 

Duque hopes that more people become interested for this scope of research, especially because this year the second “Colombian Survey on Time Usage” will be carried out and will allow comparing the data of 2013 and how gender equality has evolved. 

To read the entire research project go to: www.bdigital.unal.edu.co/51336/1/1110443317.2015.pdf

(Por: Fin/CID/MLA/APBL
)
N.° 30

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