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Women Worked an Extra 173 Hours of Unpaid Childcare During the Pandemic Compared to Men


Across the world schools shut down due to the corona virus pandemic, leading to huge childcare demands at home. However, the split between men and women providing childcare was not equal.


A study released by the Centre for Global Development found that women provided an extra 173 hours of unpaid childcare during the pandemic compared to men.


Using data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the poverty non-profit was able to estimate the gender breakdown of workloads pre-COVID-19 and throughout the pandemic.


In low- and middle-income countries, women between the ages of 15 and 64 worked an additional 217 unpaid hours compared to 70 additional hours than men.


The research estimated that globally school and preschool closures created the need for 672 hours of additional unpaid childcare from January to October 2020. Globally, women ages 15 to 64 provided approximately 173 additional unpaid childcare hours compared to 59 additional hours for men.


Countries with the biggest gender gaps are:

  • Pakistan – with women working 390 hours and men working 36 hours.

  • India – with women working 360 hours and men working 33 hours.

  • Mali – with women working 300 hours and men working 17 hours.

  • Tunisia – with women working 170 hours and men working 23 hours.

  • Algeria – with women working 130 hours and men working 19 hours.


Some governments across the world have tried to help families with childcare needs. In Canada, for example, families are entitled to receive the Child Care Benefit with a net income of $120,000 or less of $300 per payment for each child under the age of six.


The study also suggests that the large gap between men and women taking on unpaid childcare may have been one factor behind the fall in women’s employment and closure of women-owned firms during the pandemic.


Just in last month’s job numbers, declines in women working between the ages of 25-54 was -36,000 compared to men in the same age group at -20,000.


You can view the study here.

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