Women work longer than men

  | James Innes

What many women have long suspected has now been confirmed by a recent study – women work longer than men. According to Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), women work, on average, 39 more days a year than men, or 50 minutes more a day.

The WEF says that women are disproportionately burdened by unpaid work, and that it could take 170 years at current rates to close the economic inequalities between the sexes.

The report says that, in the past decade, a quarter of a billion more women have entered the global workforce, and that, since 2008, the “pay gap” has widened not narrowed. The survey indicates that although men, on average do 34% more paid work, when unpaid work, such as housework, childcare and care for the elderly is factored into the equation, women are working more than a month a year more.

The picture is by no means uniform, however. At one extreme, women in India, Portugal and Estonia work more than 50 days a year more, on average, than their male counterparts. At the other end of the scale, there were 6 countries surveyed where men work longer than women. In the US women work 10 days more a year than men. The figures are roughly equivalent for the UK, Canada and Australia.

 It is noteworthy, however, that of the countries where men work more than women, 3 of them are Nordic nations – Denmark, Sweden and Norway – where parental leave is shred relatively evenly between women and men (For the record the other three countries where men work longer are New Zealand, Japan and the Netherlands).                                                                                             

In other parts of the world, governments tend to support maternity rather than paternity leave, which means that the burden of childcare falls more heavily on women.

According to some economists, investing in the currently unpaid workers who constitute the caring economy could contribute to economic growth, with the International Trade Union Confederation estimating that a 2% investment of a country’s GDP in its care sector would increase employment from anywhere between 2.4% and 6.1%, depending on the country.

This would equate to nearly 13 million, new jobs in the US, 3.5 million in Japan and 1.5 million in the UK.

Meanwhile, for many women in the world, the old adage is true. “A woman’s work is (almost) never done.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-37767411

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