This paper explores the issue of unpaid care work, primarily focusing on its impact on women and the economy. It introduces feminist economics as a branch of heterodox economics that aims to incorporate care, compassion, and human relationships into economic analysis.
The authors highlight how unpaid care work, such as household chores and caregiving, is not accounted for in economic calculations like GDP, and how this omission is justified by considering such work as being driven by love and affection, making it difficult to quantify or monetize.
The discussion particularly focuses on the situation in India, where women bear a disproportionate burden of unpaid domestic labor, as proven by statistical data. This unequal distribution of workload affects women’s participation in the labor force, limiting their economic independence and contributing to the gender gap.
The paper also highlights the consequences of the current structure of care work. It argues that the unaccounted and unpaid nature of care work has implications for the GDP, female labor force participation rates, and the well-being of care workers. The lack of recognition and compensation for paid care workers exacerbates the patriarchal structure of Indian society.
Overall, the paper calls for a re-evaluation of the concept of work in economics to include unpaid care work, recognizing its significance and addressing the gender disparities associated with it.