MANILA - Filipino women are still spending more hours than men in doing care work, or unpaid tasks in service of others, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an advocacy group.
Oxfam Philippines, a poverty alleviation organization, said Friday that its commissioned National Household Care Survey this year showed women spent up to 13 hours a day on unpaid care work compared to only 8 hours for men.
According to Oxfam, the hours logged were much higher, including men, due to the COVID-19 crisis. The group's Household Care Survey in 2017 reportedly showed women spent 12 hours daily on care work while men spent only 5 hours.
“While the coverage of the two surveys is not exactly the same, it was expected that time spent on care work would increase for men, especially since many were forced to stay and even work at home,” said Leah Payud, resilience portfolio manager of Oxfam Philippines.
“However, it is disappointing that there is still inequality at home and that the bulk of unpaid care work still falls on women.”
The group urged the private sector to improve workplace policies, such as increased parental leaves, and flexible work and employer-supporter childcare, among others.
Oxfam noted that 7 out of the 13 hours spent by women on care work involves multi-tasking or working on at least two tasks at the same time.
"On average, Filipino women spend an average of 6.5 hours a day with care work as their primary activity. This involves activities such as fetching water, doing laundry or taking care of sick family members," the group said.
"This is almost 3 hours more than men who spend an average of 2.43 hours a day with care work as their primary activity."
Payud said institutional changes in legislation or policies that cover care work should be implemented.
“We’re hoping that more men, especially those from the younger generations, would start to take on care work and challenge social norms,” Payud said.
The 2021 National Household Care Survey, which was conducted from January to March 2021, interviewed 1,177 respondents from random households in Cagayan, Metro Manila, Masbate, Eastern Samar, Cebu, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.