1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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China Daily, article on the UNRISD research project "Political and Social Economy of Care"

10 May 2013


  • Source
  • Title: More than half the sky
  • Author(S): Julia Broussard, UN Women China Office
  • Date: 2 May 2013
  • Publication: China Daily

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For the first time in the Chinese context, a valuation of unpaid work has been estimated by using data from "China 2008 Time Use Survey" in a research study. Supported by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), researchers An Xinli and Dong Xiaoyuan found that Chinese women do much more unpaid work than Chinese men. Men spend on average 42 hours in paid work compared to 30.7 hours for females. For unpaid work, men spend just 10.6 hours compared to 27.3 hours for females. Added together, women are spending 58 hours a week on both paid and unpaid work, which is 5.4 hours per week more than men's total work time. The report indicates that women's ability to trade off paid work for unpaid work is nowhere near men's ability to do so in the Chinese context. The authors further conclude that "the value assigned to unpaid work varies from 25 to 32 percent of China's official GDP" in 2008. This represents a huge contribution, by Chinese women, to the economic and social well-being of society that is not only unpaid, it is unrecognized in official economic statistics.
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