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Oxfam Reveals The Staggering Scale Of Feminine Unpaid Work In Global Economy

Unpaid work done by women globally amounts to a humongous $10 trillion {re. 70,900,500 crore} a year, which is 43 times the annual turnover of the world’s biggest company Apple, according to an Oxfam study. In India, the unpaid domestic work by women and children is worth 3.1 percent of the country’s GDP {re.18,363,229 cr in 2017}. Women spend 312 minutes daily in urban areas and 291 minutes a day in rural areas on such work. Men spend only 29 minutes in urban and 32 minutes in rural areas, in comparison. The report, released ahead of the annual Davos World Economic Forum, also said women and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality, including in India. Moreover, paid work women do bring them less earnings as compared to men due to the existing wage gap. Hence, households that rely primarily on female earners tend to be poorer, it said, referring to the country’s gender pay gap at 34 percent. It observed that various intersections of caste, class, religion, age and sexual orientation have further implications on women inequality as a process. In context, it was political economist Marilyn Waring, who first noted this inequality through 'If Women Counted' her 1988 powerful feminist analysis of modern economics, on how feminine housework, rearing children, caring for the sick and the old has zero value in economic theory. She showed that though women do half of all the work on the planet, conventional statistics, like GDP, totally ignore it. The then New Zealand MP and chair of the Public Expenditures Committee later migrated to Canada.