Women’s unpaid care work should be counted

It's concerning that around 78 percent households primarily run by women have already been facing acute financial distress through the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, caused by sudden job losses, increased household obligations and, interrupted support services at the job for child care. This data, published in a report titled, "Rapid Analysis of Care Work during Covid Pandemic in Bangladesh", brings to light the sorry monetary realities that a big portion of Bangladeshi women are experiencing as a result of Covid-19 crisis.

According to the study conducted by an associate professor of economics at Jahangirnagar University, women of cities are spending 128 percent additional time in household chores compared to the pre-pandemic period. Although almost 72 percent of home-makers used to spend around five hours per day doing unpaid care work prior to the start of Covid-19 epidemic, 38 percent of the women have reported that hours for doing such works have raised for them. Also, 85 percent of women who already spend a huge part of their waking hours in full-time jobs also need to spend a lot more than four hours of regular unpaid care work when they go back to their homes. These findings prove that men remain lagging behind in joining hands with women members of family members to lessen the responsibility on the latter by sharing everyday household work.

A written report published by The Daily Star on January 18, 2016, highlights that men spend only one 1.2 hours a day normally doing household work, gives them 5.25 hours a lot more than women to indulge in recreation or career development activities. The procedure of recognising the financial need for women's unpaid care work has to take off urgently. Doing this will crank up the country's economy too as economists have suggested during the past that how big is Bangladesh's Gross Domestic Product(GDP) can be almost doubled if women's domestic responsibilities are calculated when it comes to GDP.

The federal government must first come to the aid of women-headed households who are in extreme monetaray hardship as a result of pandemic. Cash and food aid must reach them fast. Moreover, the federal government must initiate immediate awareness campaigns across the country promoting the idea that household chores aren't exclusive to women only, it applies equally to men. Most of all, women's' economic empowerment can only just be ensured through their access to and control over important resources. Being engaged with paid productive activities, women-only skills training programmes and lastly, strong and regular family support for girls to pursue their dreams to become educated and financially independent folks are a number of the boxes that have to be checked on important basis, to ensure proper acknowledgement of women's' unparalleled contributions in keeping both their family and professional lives functioning smoothly.

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