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Why and how should we value unpaid work?

Philippine Institute for Development Studies

2020

The Philippines

Briefing Note

Influencing Gender Norms

Gender equality Gender norms Influencing gender norms Unpaid work housework

Why and how should we value unpaid work?

Why and how should we value unpaid work?

Although housework is widely performed in many countries, it is not considered when measuring economic output and is therefore unpaid. Written by Connie Bayudan-Dacuycuy for the Philippine Institute of Development Studies, this policy note outlines why housework is a social issue and why and how it should be recognised and valued.

Key points

  • Although housework is a choice that is decided within the household, it has important implications on human capital accumulation.
  • Women tend to be more affected by market work interruptions caused by housework than men given their childbearing and child-nurturing roles.
  • In the Philippines, it was observed that married males’ daily wage in 2015 was PHP 30 higher than that of single males, consistent with the male wage premium or the observed higher wage of married men relative to single men. One explanation given by Becker (1965) for the difference is that marriage allows men to concentrate on market work.
  • Meanwhile, single females’ daily wage was PHP 50 higher than that of the married ones, corroborating the motherhood penalty or the observed decline in women’s earnings after giving birth. This can also indicate the types of work that married women engage in and the number of hours they put in to accommodate the needs of care work. They work 4–5 hours less than single women. Meanwhile, married men work 2–4 hours more than single men.
  • Policy recommendations:
    • Broaden opportunities for both men and women who opt out of the market work by enhancing work from home opportunities.
    • Explore granting incentives to working couples.
    • Improve public services that have direct and indirect consequences on unpaid work.
    • Reform the workplace to achieve work-life balance.
    • Strengthen information campaigns on unpaid work.
    • Design systems for elderly care.

Contents

  • Household’s division of unpaid work
  • Individuals involved in unpaid work
  • Significance of valuing unpaid work
    • Issues in valuing unpaid work through wage for housework
  • Recommendations for valuing unpaid work
    • Broaden opportunities for both men and women who opt out of the market work by enhancing work from home opportunities
    • Explore granting incentives to working couples.
    • Improve public services that have direct and indirect consequences on unpaid work.
    • Reform the workplace to achieve work-life balance
    • Strengthen information campaigns on unpaid work
    • Design systems for elderly care
  • References

This policy note was originally published on the PIDS website.

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