“No-name” work is time consuming, repetitive and often intensive, but is not recognised, nor paid, nor respected by family members (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnamese women spend over five hours doing so-called “no-name” work such as cooking, cleaning and childcare - about 2-2.5 hours more than men. 

This is one of the findings of the Unpaid Care Work Research that analysed the roles and contribution of women through unpaid care work (UCW), which was presented on September 29 in Hanoi by the Department of Gender Equality under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, in cooperation with ActionAid Vietnam. 

“No-name” work is time consuming, repetitive and often intensive, but is not recognised, nor paid, nor respected by family members, the community and women themselves, according to the initial research findings. 

Hoang Phuong Thao, Country Director of ActionAid Vietnam, said that gender inequality was one of the root causes of poverty and injustice. 

As many as 67 percent of people living in poverty worldwide are women. Therefore, unless UCW is shared and acknowledged, more and more women will be poor, not having time for paid work or education, she said. 

“It will not only impact women but the next generation also. Inequality can only be resolved if the solutions emerge from the family,” she said. 

The research is part of a project entitled “Women’s Rights: Preventing Gender-based Violence and Promoting Women’s Participation in Politics”. It is sponsored by Irish Aid and ActionAid Vietnam and implemented in different areas of Vietnam. It was conducted in nine cities and provinces in Vietnam from January to June this year. 

According to a survey by the Swiss Government, if UCW in households is properly calculated, it would account for up to 40 percent of Switzerland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Research in the US state of Massachusetts estimated that if taken into account, UCW would increase the state’s GDP from 352 billion USD to 504 billion USD, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the value of goods and services produced in the State. 

With five hours of work per day, Vietnam’s 22 million work-age women spend 110 million hours on UCW, equal to over 13 million working days. 

At an average of 100,000-150,000 VND (4.4-6.6 USD ) per day, the value of the unrecorded UCW by women is more than 20 percent of Vietnam’s GDP last year, which was about 41 billion USD. 

The research recommends that the Government consider UCW’s value as an indicator for GDP calculation. 

Pham Ngoc Tien, Director of the Gender Equality Department, said, “If Vietnamese women’s contribution is well acknowledged, there will be significant changes in our society regarding equality between men and women, which will inevitably lead to the reallocation and sharing of UCW in a more appropriate way.” 

This would be a practical way to improve the economic situation and quality of life for women, he said. 

It is crucially important for the Government to consider how to incorporate UCW in GDP calculations and socio-economic policy development, according to the research.-VNA