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In this article published in Development and Cooperation PARI senior researcher Dr. Sundus Saleemi critically analyses the gendered problematic of time poverty, the state where people have to work more than 8 hours for five days per week to fulfill their basic physical needs. Women are more likely to experience time poverty than men, as traditional gender roles assign a disproportionate burden of domestic work to women. While similtaneously, reproductive labour”, “home production” or “unpaid care and domestic work” is categorized as informal labour and is considered to be a personal affair of little public relevance. Globally, over two-thirds of the unpaid care work is done by women. In many countries the share is considerably higher. The issue gets more complex, as the more hours a woman spends doing unpaid care work, the less time she has for earning money. Poor infrastructure and poverty further exacerbates the matter by making household tasks more difficult and time consuming. The cycle is perpetuated by the fact that time constrained women in developing countries often have to rely on the support of their children, mostly daughters. This can have a lasting negative impact on girls’ education.
Dr. Saleemi notes that a major problem with this issue is the lack of data on this unregistered care work, which results in women living in time poverty not being reflected in statistics.