Unpaid care giving hampering female input in labor force.


Byline: Akram Khatoon

Among the various reasons identified on global level for removing genderdisparity with regard to education and female participation in labor force it is the total responsibility inflicted on women and girls for care giving at household level. This involves child care as well as special care giving for disabled and elderly members of the family. This gives them less time for education, involvement in paid work and other economic activities. They are even devoid of leisure and their constitutional right for political participation.

This particular household environment common with developing countries of South East Asia including Pakistan limits engagement of women in market activities and limits their role for earning livelihood through informal economy being home-based worker or doing low paid jobs. In this regard it is incumbent on legislatures of these countries to ensure decent work and addressing vagaries of unpaid family care work through social safety nets intervention backed by government financial support for providing working mothers maternity benefits and accessible child care services. In some of the European countries tax incentiveshave been allowed to working couples. Instead of taxing income of both husband and wife only husband's income is taxed.

At global level some sustainable measures have been taken to address the issue of unpaid care giving by female members of the family who are barred from getting education and also denied the right to get involved in economic activity without undermining their capability and working expertise.

International Centre for Research on women in collaboration with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have conducted a number of research studies to explore how investing in care services and reducing care burden on females of a family can boost up female labor force participation both in developing and emerging economies. Major focus of this joint venture is to explore whether and how the private sector identifies and addresses care needs of the dependent children and elderly members of the families of the female work force, which worldwide is considered the responsibility of adult female members (potential labor force) of the family.

Aim of EBRD is to increase women work force participation, skills and entrepreneurial opportunities and access to vital infrastructure services specially in under developed regions. It was revealed to EBRD during the survey...

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