Visible Yet Invisible

Visible Yet Invisible: Rural Women’s Contribution in Livelihood through Unpaid Household Work

Arindam Ghosh

While some research has been conducted on the issue of the unpaid work performed by women, very few studies has been conducted to attempt to arrive at a reasonable estimate of the approximate monetary value of the work done by women without pay in India. Such a figure could help address the problem of undervaluing women and contribute to discussions on the actual role of women in the society and thus the importance of rectifying the discrimination which women face from before their birth until their death. This research is thus intended to address a major research gap and to respond to the consequences of treating millions of hard-working Indian women as economically unproductive and no more valuable than beggars and prisoners. This study found that a typical woman’s day starts at about 5 a.m. and ends after 10 p.m. In addition to their unpaid household activities, women often spend six to eight hours per day on paid activities. This double burden left such women with little time for themselves.

Key words: Women, unpaid work, economic estimation, Jharkhand