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Gender equality

Unpaid care work

One of the significant structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment is women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid work at home that restricts women from taking up paid jobs, undertaking advanced education and skills training, and most importantly—participation in public life.  The household chores have economic value but is not counted in traditional measures of GDP. It is estimated that unpaid work being undertaken by women today “amounts to as much as $10 trillion of output per year, roughly equivalent to 13 percent of global GDP”1.  

UNDP supports countries to address the unequal distribution of unpaid care work between men and women through a variety of initiatives, from improving infrastructure to ensure access to water, sanitation, roads and healthcare to making investments in family care services, maternity and paternity leave policies, and flexible work arrangements.

For example, UNDP in partnership with UN Women and UNCDF, has launched the Inclusive Economic Local Development Initiative, which is working with local development programmes to unlock private finance for infrastructure projects that would benefit women and lift their disproportionate burden of unpaid work.

1 Footnote: McKinsey Global Institute 'The Power of Parity: How advancing women's equality can add $12 Trillion to global growth' 2015. page 2. 

 

 

 

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