Global gender gap in unpaid care: why domestic work still remains a woman's burden, and the case of Armenia
Dec 07, 2021

Global gender gap in unpaid care: why domestic work still remains a woman's burden, and the case of Armenia

Category Work

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic numerous reports point to the fact that women are mainly shouldering the burden of increased domestic care duties. But even before the pandemic struck, women performed more than two thirds of the unpaid domestic care work in both developing and developed countries. The lack of gender parity in the distribution of domestic work is associated with significant economic inefficiencies, as well as considerable social and economic consequences for women – _affecting their bargaining power within the household and their labor market outcomes in particular. In the brief I review the literature on both the economic and sociological factors which perpetuate the pattern of gender disparity in unpaid domestic care work. I also summarize the “recognize, reduce and redistribute” policies which could be adopted to help address the problem.

Gender gap in unpaid domestic care in Armenia: new evidence in light of the COVID-19 pandemic

We provide new evidence on the gender gap in unpaid domestic care in Armenia, using individual level data from 2018 and 2020. Our study confirms the existence of gender inequalities in the provision of unpaid domestic care. In particular, we show that the existing gender gap increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared to men, women were more likely to separate from their jobs to provide unpaid domestic care. Moreover, among women the proportion of those who separated from a job specifically for the reason of providing unpaid domestic work was larger than among men. While universally recognized policies are important to mitigate gender imbalances in unpaid domestic care in Armenia, the current situation in the country requires an additional set of measures to be taken. In particular, policies should aim at preventing mass emigration from the country and supporting companies located in remote areas which are primarily gender-balanced, but particularly sensitive to lockdowns and other measures countering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note: these policy briefs are a part of a series produced under FROGEE initiative - the Forum for Research on Gender Economics - supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and coordinated by the Stockholm Institute of Transition. 


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