Value of unpaid women’s work hits P1.9T, PIDS study shows
The value of women’s unpaid work in the Philippines is already worth trillions of pesos, according to a study by the country’s premier think tank.
In a seminar organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in celebration of the International Day of Women and National Women’s Month, senior research fellow Michael Abrigo said the monetary value of women’s time spent on childcare, eldercare and house chores was already about P1.9 trillion.
Citing 2015 data, Abrigo said paid work of both sexes was valued at P9.3 trillion while unpaid work hit P2.5 trillion. Women’s contributions to these were at 40 percent and 76 percent, respectively.
Using the National Transfer Account and the National Time Transfer Account, the think tank was able to measure the value of unpaid work in the country within the production boundaries of the country’s economic value.
“We want to bring home the message that there’s value on housework, that it doesn’t mean that just because you’re at home, your time has no value. We want to convert these time units into monetary units,” he said.
He added that some women were held back from joining the labor force because they opted to prioritize child-rearing. A way to resolve this issue, he proposed, was to encourage men to help their spouses in doing household chores.
“To answer how we can encourage women to work outside their homes, we should answer first how their spouses could help them with household chores. This way, we can give women opportunities to help in providing for their families,” he said.
As of 2015, only 2 percent of men from single family households were at home doing the chores of their mothers or their spouses.
To entice women to spend more time on paid activities, the PIDS senior fellow urged the government “to look for ways to improve their labor participation,” including the implementation of flexible working arrangements and telecommuting.
Just recently, President Duterte signed into law a measure extending the number of paid maternity leaves to 105 days from 60 to 78 days.
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