Bulk of care tasks still fall on women amid pandemic, survey finds

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2021 12:59 AM | Updated as of Jun 20 2021 01:00 AM

Bulk of care tasks still fall on women amid pandemic, survey finds 1
People disregard physical distancing rules, as they queue outside Paltok Elementary School in Quezon City on April 7, 2021 to receive government cash assistance. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

Women in the Philippines spent up to 13 hours a day on unpaid care work, 5 more than men, a survey on national household care found. 

The result of the survey, released on Saturday, said women still took on the bulk of unpaid care work, even though the pandemic has forced families to spend more time at home. 

In the 2017 survey, funded by Oxfam Philippines and several organizations, women clocked 12 hours of care work while men 5. 

“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 survey concluded that “the private sector will also need to contribute improved workplace policies such as increased parental leaves, flexible work and employer-supporter childcare.”

On average, the survey found, 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. 

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 there is a need for institutional changes, such as legislation or policies that support the care economy. 

“We’re hoping that more men, especially those from the younger generations, would start to take on care work and challenge social norms,” she said.

The survey, conducted January to March, involved interviews with 1,177 individuals from randomly sampled households.

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