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Work from home adds to women’s burdens

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WOMEN continue to do the bulk of household chores, even if the Covid-19 pandemic compelled many employees to work in their homes, according to a new report from Oxfam Philippines.

In its 2021 National Household Care Survey (NHCS), Oxfam said home-based female employees did household task for 13 hours, while their male counterparts spend only 8 hours with the same duties.

Of the hours spent on chores by female workers, seven hours involve multi-tasking or juggling at least two activities at the same time.

The other 6.5 hours are used for care work such as fetching water, doing laundry or taking care of sick family members.

“This is almost 3 hours more than men who spend an average of 2.43 hours a day with care work as their primary activity,” Oxfam said.

Oxfam, however, said the results was already an improvement compared to its 2017 survey, where males only did five hours of household chores per day, while women did it for 12 hours daily.

Social norms

Still Leah Payud, Resilience Portfolio Manager of Oxfam Philippines, said the distribution of home-based task could be much better if male workers would step up.

“It is disappointing that there is still inequality at home and that the bulk of unpaid care work still falls on women,” Payud said.

“We’re hoping that more men, especially those from the younger generations, would start to take on care work and challenge social norms,” she added.

To bridge the gap between the time spent by female and male workers on home-based chores, she recommended that the private sector implement increased parental leaves, flexible work and employer-supporter childcare.

Legislation or policies that support the care economy such providing better water systems, health care delivery, and day care services would also help, she said.

The 2021 NHCS was conducted from January to March 2021  and covered 1,177 individuals from randomly sampled households in Cagayan, Metro Manila, Masbate, Eastern Samar, Cebu, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.

It was funded by the Philippine Commission on Women, WeEmpowerAsia, University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor, Planet Cora, Patamaba, Simcarrd, COM and the Local Government Units of Salcedo and Eastern Samar.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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