Indian women shoulder most of the responsibilities in the household. If one wanted to validate the previous statement, we have The National Statistical Office (NSO) ‘Time Use in India Report for 2019’ report which was released recently. The results were based on a sample size of 1,38,000 select families (Rural: 82,897 & Urban: 55,902).
The time difference between the efforts put in to take care of the house between men and women is staggering. According to the report, the average Indian woman spends 243 minutes doing household activities, while men spend one-tenth of this time, or 25 minutes, every day.
This is the first of its kind survey conducted by the NSO and the interviews were taken during the period January 2019 to December 2019 and only considered those over the age of six. While six might seem too young an age for children to participate in domestic chores, for those in BPL (below poverty line) households and in most of rural India, it is the norm.
Highlights of the report:
The NSO report says that 57.3% men were employed or in related activities while only 18.4% of women in the country were accounted for
The proportion of rural women (19.2%) engaged in employment was higher compared to urban areas (16.7%)
The women of the household in rural areas (82.1%) did more unpaid domestic services for household members compared to those in cities (79.2%)
53.2% of survey participants performed unpaid domestic services for household members. The numbers are skewed against women at 81.2% compared to 26.1% for men
There is an inverse relationship between performing household chores and age. Women over the age of 60 spend less time doing domestic work, while men tend to devote more time on it after they reach 60
While participating in employment and related activities, urban women spent 375 minutes a day while rural women spent 317 minutes on it
Women over 60 spending less time in household work could be as a result of them passing the buck to their daughters-in-law. The survey also provides important information on volunteer work, unpaid domestic work, unpaid care-giving activities, etc. of the household members. It also touches upon the time we spend on learning, socializing, leisure activities, etc.
It is no wonder that Indian women undertake a lot of unpaid domestic work. Acknowledging this inequality is the first step towards making amends and appreciating them for their contribution.