Women’s work is never done and is never counted

It seems that a day, and certainly not a week, will go by without our stomachs being turned by horrific news of women being brutally abused, beaten and, often, murdered in red-headed red blood.

Is this something new and frightening in our society or has it always been so but only now revealed by a more alert public, more anxious Government services and more vigilant media? Whatever the case, the prevalence of this cowardly and horrific abuse of women is a stable indictment and an angry indictment in any society. Clearly, government and community action to reduce towards the zero of this fraternity must be a priority.

But women’s physical abuse is the basis of a larger, general problem affecting the status and well-being of women. This is because the work they do as housewives and mothers is counted for free in economic models – which is very ironic because the word “economy” is rooted in Greek for “home management” . ” The work of women with zero rating in this way represents cruel, paternal discrimination that can lead to the degradation of women.

Consider, for example, the case of children in the home – countless tasks of nursing, nurturing, feeding, dressing, teaching that fall mostly on women from the first day of life: none of that is included in the GDP. All that all important work is ignored and unpaid.

Unpaid work like this “makes the rest of the job possible,” said Marilyn Waring, a former cabinet minister in New Zealand and Professor at the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University in Auckland. “The market wouldn’t survive if it couldn’t exist on the backbone of unpaid work.” Professor Waring calculated that unpaid work is the largest sector of any economy. And, worldwide, most of that work is done by women.

The United Nations says that while women make up half of the world’s population, they make up only one percent of the world’s wealth. So imagine, for example, this absurdity. Women in the countryside who farm subsistence, produce food that is often healthier and more affordable than processed goods brought in by multinationals, their output is not counted in GDP while money spent on imported goods counts. It is remarkable that such extensive, cutting back productive labor is not recognized. The official lens through which we see the economy and the world is completely distorted.

Contrast, for example, the zero calculated for the indispensable work of women in hundreds of millions of homes with, say, the destruction of ancient forests by timber companies or the pollution of rivers by mining companies, both of which attract huge additions to national statistics . wealth. Mankind must be mad to be comfortable with such nonsense.

When I was in Toronto Professor Waring once spoke at a Conference on the economics of mothering. She was completely common sense and convincing. When interviewed afterwards she said, “For me, the patriarchal economic paradigm is economics theory and practice that says women’s unpaid work is worth nothing at all. Not that I want to estimate its monetary value. I want to make it visible for policy-making purposes, for fairness and equality. If you are not visible as an employee, then you are not visible in the distribution of benefits. “

That’s the key. If women like housewives and mothers were more economically visible, if the extravagant amount of dedicated work they do on a day-to-day basis were officially recognized, do you think, for example, that it would be ‘ n such valuable actors in society must use as much as 85 percent of their daily calorie intake to fetch water and suffer, as they do in many rural areas of the world, from anemia and spinal and pelvic deformities from carrying heavy pins for miles before their families get up in the morning? In such a case, if their true value were taken into account in national accounts, there is no doubt that the location of public water sources would be improved very quickly. The truth is, if a woman’s work is not given any value, she will be treated as worthless.

“If you are not visible as an employee, then you are not visible when distributing benefits.” That is one of the major causes of humiliation and abuse of women. But it goes deeper. This humiliation of the role of women, this official forgetfulness of the value of what they do at home, creates an unmistakable sense of their spending, leading too easily to neglect and cruel abuse as if objects from the kind of great importance to man. world.

Give real and full value to the role of women as a home carer and mother and the current extreme and odd level of physical abuse would diminish rapidly. Time to take action.