Tag Archives: opinion

OMG! My Unpaid Care Work created a dent in the GDP

‘My’ here refers to every woman in this world, without any differentiation of society, cast or creed. The common factor for every woman is that she has to manage cooking, washing, cleaning,  taking care of children and the elderly and numerous other activities that make a house a home. Such works are called Unpaid Care Work in economics.

It is not a new word. The necessity of including the Unpaid Care Work in the GDP calculation was suggested 80 years ago. That will be discussed later in this post.

According to a report by OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) “Neglecting Unpaid Care Work leads to incorrect inferences about levels and changes in individuals’ well-being and the value of time, which in turn limit policy effectiveness across a range of socio-economic areas, notably gender inequalities in employment and other empowerment areas.”

There was a report in the newspaper that the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) will conduct a survey in the household to know about the Unpaid Care Work done by the women. The reason being:

  • the gap being created in the GDP
  • the valuable service of the women that is lost to the society
  • the equality between man and woman.

Whether employed or unemployed, a woman, according to studies 75% of the household work is done by women. And in India 700 women do household and unpaid care and their work are unaccounted for in the GDP.

Unpaid Care Work

From time immemorial the work done by a woman at home is considered as a duty. A dutiful woman wakes up early in the morning, before everyone else, and takes care of the entire family.

A woman having a job does two jobs every day. She hardly gets a break on a Sunday.

                   Statistics of Unpaid Work

Country                   Women             Men          Gender Gap Index
                                         %                        %                         Rank
India                                 66                           12                            108
China                               44                            16                            100
USA                                  50                             31.5                           49
UK                                     56.7                         32                               15

Statistics of 2017

Everything was fine. Women considered the household duties as their commitment and worked to the bones to do her best for the family.  The outlook towards the household work, done by women changed when the UN did some GDP calculations. They discovered that there was the gap in the GDP of all the countries because the contribution of the women at home is overlooked. 13% of the world GDP was from the unaccounted Unpaid Care Work.

What do Celebrities say about their Unpaid Care Work?

There was a report that Serena Williams, who is also a mother, said she is finding it difficult to balance her profession and home. She says that managing the house and a profession is an art.

Exactly, she is right. Managing the home and the job is an art. Either you are a good homemaker or you are a good professional. As Indira Nooyi said once, ‘ Women cannot have it all’.

The first woman to voice the above sentiment, Anne-Marie Slaughter, later realized that ‘no one can have it all’. She gives her own example, where she is the main breadwinner. Her husband takes care (or more care) of the children. She refers to him as ‘lead parent’ and herself as ‘non-lead parent’.

Who sacrifices well paid, high-profile career?

Because of the scores of care and routine household works to be taken care of, many potential women employees give up their job or take up part-time jobs. Their non-participation is a loss to the  GDP.

One disturbing trend, nowadays in Indian metros,  is that well-educated women are giving up their jobs so as to take care of the family. A woman, in her early thirties, holding a prestigious position in a Bank, left the job to take care of the family. She is now doing some work from home.

                                           INDIA

(Time spent by both genders on paid and unpaid works in India)

                                      Women          Men

Unpaid Work               297                   31
Paid Work                     160                   360
(in minutes)

Why women leave their jobs

The reason why the well-educated women leave their job is that their salary is minuscule in comparison with that of their spouse.

Or maybe they have inherited a fortune. So they feel that their income hardly make any differce in the financial security of the family. So they choose to remain home as their service is required more at home than the society.

Unpaid Care Work

Another reason could be that the salary that is offered is not in tandem with the expense they have to manage. When a woman leaves for work she has to appoint a maid for washing dishes and cleaning the house. Arrange tuition for the children. Arrange a reliable driver to take them to the tuitions and extracurriculars.

All the expenses amount to between 10,000-15,000. If you appoint a cook and home nurse then the expenses with be much higher.

If the woman is going to earn around 20000  per month, she feels that ‘sitting at home’ is better. She can do all the above-mentioned work with more dedication and she can save the travelling time and expense.

What are the consequences of excluding household production from national accounts?

It leads to misestimating households’ material well-being and societies’ wealth. If included, Unpaid Care Work would constitute 40% of Swiss GDP (Schiess and SchönBühlmann,2004) and would be equivalent to 63% of Indian GDP (Budlender, 2008). ‘OEC’s report on Unpaid Care Work’

How we perceive the household work?

Generally, the household work done by women is perceived as a leisurely activity because the work is not time bound. On the contrary that is not the truth. Women have to plan, stick to a routine and work in a time schedule only then she can accomplish her duties.

Household work also involves a lot of stress. Household duty is serious business. If she skips one activity in a day the whole family is affected.

If we convert the household services into money, the UN says that it comes to 13 per cent of global GDP. Since we fail to oversee the household work as a paid job there are some serious flaws in the GDP of the countries.

UN says that if the government does not take care of the situation then the growth of the country will be affected.

How should the household work be perceived?

Firstly the quantum of household work done by women at home should be given a monetary value. Secondly, the Government should be able to provide care systems, so that the women can go out and work in their field of interest. Their contribution is equally important for the progress of the nation. Unpaid Care Work is an essential determiner in evaluating the social well-being of a Nation.

What is GDP?

80 years ago British economists Richard Stones and James Meade formulated a method to calculate national income. Now it is being used as the global stand to evaluate the economic growth of a country.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) gives an estimate of the financial products of the country. The GDP measures both the income and expenditure of the good and services.

The woman behind Unpaid Care Work in GDP

Phyllis Deane, an apprentice, hired by these eminent economists felt that the Unpaid household work also must be included in the GDP. She argued that a vast amount of productive activity done by women was not listed in the GDP.

She contended that the labour of cooking, taking care of elderly and children, collecting firewood, is traditionally considered as women’s work. After months of research in villages in Africa, Deane concluded that an all-inclusive GDP, that increased National income, can be formulated only if all producer, including rural women, are accounted.

Her recommendation was not considered in the GDP calculation in the past seven decades. Now that the present formula is under criticism, Deans suggestion of including Unpaid Care Work (mostly female work) in GDP in being considered.

According to studies the number of people requiring care, elderly, children, the disabled and the ill will increase by 2030. If someone cuts down of a few hours of work or even relinquish the paid job in order to do Unpaid Care Work that will create a huge, irreplaceable damage in financial security.

According to a BBC report “Unpaid carers save the UK economy almost £60bn a year, suggests a new analysis of official figures by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). About 8% of the UK population living in private households acted as informal carers last year, the Department of Work and Pensions figures show. The ONS calculates that it would cost £56.9bn to replace these unpaid carers with paid workers.”

According to ILO report ‘Care work and care jobs for the future of decent work’s “If investment in care service provision does not increase by at least 0.5 percentage points of global GDP by 2030 from the current 6.4 per cent of global GDP (as of 2015), deficits in coverage will increase and the working conditions of care workers will deteriorate.”

Women do more underpaid work

ILO report further says, “In 2018, 606 million working-age women said that they were not able to do so because of Unpaid Care Work. Only 41 million men said they were not in the labour force for the same reason.”

Inequalities lower in high-income countries

Source: World Bank (2014), World Development Indicators and OECD (2014), Gender, Institutions and Development Database. “Gender inequality in Unpaid Care Work is also related to the wealth of a country. Time use data reveals a negative correlation between income and levels of gender inequalities in Unpaid Care Work: the distribution of responsibilities is the most equal in high-income countries.”

10 reasons Why you must bicycle today, on world’s first ‘World Bicycle Day’

Today, June 3 has been declared as, the first, ‘World Bicycle Day’ by the UN. According to the UN declaration, one of the benefits of cycling is that “the synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement and gives the user an immediate awareness of the local environment”.

There is more to Cycling………….

Cycling is beneficial in improving your health, reducing pollution and increasing your understanding of your surrounding.

Feeling One with Nature

The oneness that you feel with nature is unique and cannot be experienced by using any other means of transportation. You cannot feel the experience even by walking.

Science-fiction are just fictions

We read so many science-fiction about the future where people will be far-removed from nature. They live in a technological habitat, surrounded by the gadgets and with little interaction with nature or fellow humans. Go cycling to change your perception. Man can coexist with nature even when they are immersed in technology.

Return to Nature

Now there is a change in perception. People are understanding the importance of Nature. There are many ‘back to nature’ and ‘sustainable development’ activities. The interest that people show in the kitchen garden, home cooking and nature tours are an indication that we understand that for the existence of the human species we need to live in tandem with nature.

Striving to Co-Exist

Understanding nature and striving to co-exist with the natural environment is a necessity. Nowadays most of us take a break from our city life, permeated by technology, and travel to places that are almost untouched by the automation.

Balancing Nature and Technology

We go back to nature because we know nature has much to offer to our existence. We get rejuvenated in our health by spending some time with the environment.  We tend to be more creative when we are closer to nature.  Preserving the environment is a selfish need of the human species. So we have the Nature movements and the Sustainable development models.

Cycling for Sustainable Development

When you cycle you will feel the breeze. You will see all the flora and fauna and humans around you.  As you are travelling in the open space, not in a closed vehicle, you will feel one with nature. That feeling of oneness is the beginning of your positive outlook towards the environment and other species.

World Bicycle Day

Feel the Surrounding

Yes, you can feel the nature with your five senses. When you travel in a car you are in a closed environment and artificial air conditioning.

Less pollution

There two types of pollution that happen when you Cycle. Since Cycle does not run on fuel,  you are saving the environment from gas emitted from fuels. On the other hand, your body becomes more immune to pollution. Your lungs and internal organs are healthier because of more intake of oxygen.

According to the UN cycling has ‘has a positive impact on climate”. If more people use cycle then there will less pollution.

World Bicycle Day

Health Benefits

When you cycle your cardiovascular fitness increases. There is the movement of joint and muscular flexibility. A number of diseases are prevented or becomes less severe by cyclings like diabetes, some cancers, arthritis and diseases.

Perfect transportation during traffic jams

On a day when there is a traffic jam, you can speed through the traffic. There is o excuse for being late to work.

In many countries, there are depots where you can rent a cycle and go the office. There is the twin benefit; you are following a fitness regime on a working day as well as having a pollution free commutation.

According to UN “The bicycle can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, healthcare and sport”.

Enjoy bicycling today and share your experience in the comment box.

 

If Jesus Christ were a blogger

Have you ever seen any picture of Jesus Christ in writing posture? No, you won’t. Because he never wrote anything. But the largest number of books, in the world, is written about the works of Jesus and his sayings. He never wrote, yet some of his stories and parables are used even today for motivational talks. The phrases he coined have become part and parcel of many languages.

Why Jesus Christ never wrote is because he was always surrounded by thousands of people and out of them many were writers. They made note of all the works and sayings of Christ. It is said that hundreds of books were written by eyewitnesses who followed Jesus. Out of that, in the Bible, there are four books about the works of Jesus written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Matthew and John were among the twelve disciples of Jesus. Luke, a physician, followed Jesus everywhere. And Mark wrote the eyewitness account as told by the favourite disciple of Jesus, Peter.

Every writer’s dream is that their work continues to live for ages. The words of Jesus reverberates even today.

Bloggers can learn a few lessons about how to blog from the way Jesus communicated and connected with the multitude.

He is a storyteller

Jesus uses many stories and parables to make the multitude understand the messages that he gives them. He tells them the story of the Good Samaritan, to teach the people that they must love their enemies. He tells the story of the master who gives talents to his three servants. Whereby he explains that the people must utilize all the resources that God has given them. These stories are nowadays used for motivational training.

He uses the right platforms for his sermons

At the time of Jesus Ministry, there were no sound systems. His audience belonged to every class of the society from beggars to Royalties. His listeners followed him in multitudes, to listen to his teachings. So he chose his platforms where his sound could be heard to the thousands that followed him.

It might sound exaggerating, but it is a fact that five to seven thousand people including women and children followed him everywhere. There are two stories in the Bible, of miracles, where he feeds five and seven thousand people who came to listen to him.

It is said about the famous sermon on the mount that, “Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down………….and He began to teach them,……….”(St Matthew 5:2,3). Those who have visited Israel say that the mountain has a good echo system. Whatever Jesus said reverberated on the mountains and reached the multitudes sitting far away from him.

Another time he sat on a boat and talked to the people standing beside of the Lake. “Jesus got into the boat belonging to Simon and asked him to put out a little from shore. And sitting down, He taught the people from the boat.” (St. Luke 5:3) Again, here the water of the lake reverberates what Jesus says.

On other occasions, he spoke at the synagogues.  Every time his teachings touched the hearts of multitudes of listeners.

He had multitude of followers

A dream of every blogger is to have thousands of followers on facebook, twitter,  google plus and Instagram. Jesus was followed by thousands wherever he went.

He spoke with authority

You can speak or write with authority when you have mastery over the subject. At the age of twelve, Jesus was asking questions to the teachers and priests in the temple. And they were marvelled at his understanding of the scriptures. When his parents came searching for him in the temple he told them that he was in his father’s (heavenly father) home.

He always spoke with authority sometimes to the discomfort of the authorities and the religious heads. But whatever he said he had open supporters like his disciples and secret supporter like Joseph of Arimathea.

His words created ripple effects

He never wrote a  word. And whatever he said was written long after the ministry of Jesus Christ on Earth. Whatever he said was spread by word of mouth.

In the multitude of listeners, there were spies making a note of every word he said. There were teachers and religious heads waiting for a chance to trap him with questions. He had a good mixture of listeners and critiques around him.

From the public, he got instant reactions for whatever he did or said. The public was always aware of his itinerary.  One day Jesus decided to enter the temple of Jerusalem. When the people came to know they spread his path with their robes, held palm leaves in their hand and shouted Hosanna.

When Jesus entered the temple he saw it was turned into a marketplace. He drove all the merchants out with a chord used to driving out animals, saying “It is written, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations’, But, you have made it a den of robbers!”

He said and did things what often others thought, but they never dared to express. Readers expect the bloggers, they follow, to write things that the reader often thinks but is unable to express. He expects the blogger to express  ideas with boldness, clarity and authority.

Nadia writes about her experience of interview with Lifestyle Today News

Remember the smiling Nadia Clarke’s interview with Lifestyle Today News two months back. Nadia wrote a blog about her visit to Anchal. She narrates beautifully about how she felt about Being interviewed by me for Lifestyle Today News. You can also watch the video of the interview here. Given below is the quote from her blog.

I was interviewed by a lady and I cannot remember what I said as I panicked when she asked if my Dynavox could say ‘Namaste’ I tried but it could not pronounce the word.  Imagine it, lots of people watching, camera crews, children excited and my Dynavox won’t speak Hindi. How embarrassing!. Even though Sam Spelt it to me in sign language, I then typed it correctly but the lady who was interviewing me for Lifestyle Today  news did not recognise the word when she heard it. I panicked, and was swearing inside my head! I was on the Indian TV news! Argh!!! Luckily Sam saw the panic in my face and helped out, phew!!