Women’s contributions to economic output and baseline economic welfare tend to be underestimated due the double injustice of unpaid care work and unpaid work. This double injustice denies women of the compensation, reward, recognition and upward income mobility that come with performing economic tasks – even when the output of those tasks is counted in official calculations. Most often, unpaid care work is neither formally counted as economic output, nor is it compensated. Instead, it is seen as women’s responsibility, due to their gender. This ultimately means that the immense amount of time, effort and skill women (and girls) put into the economy is invisible.
By Vani Saraswathi, Editor-at-Large and Director of Projects, Migrant-Rights.Org
The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states need to completely revamp past policies, and not merely attempt to bridge gaps or provide a salve to deep wounds.
As of February 2020, millions of migrants –– primarily from South and Southeast Asia and increasingly from East African countries –– were holding up Gulf economies, working in sectors and for wages unappealing to the more affluent citizens. In countries with per capita GDP of US$62,000 or more, minimum wages ranged as low as US$200 per month.
We have witnessed numerous efforts to enhance gender equality throughout the past decade. Legal reforms are taking place worldwide, and discriminatory laws are slowly being struck down in favour of parity. But despite developments in employment laws, inequality persists. Women’s labour participation has been stagnant, and last year, the already low number of female CEOs tumbled even further. As the provider of 90% of jobs worldwide, the private sector plays a significant role in the push for gender equality in employment. By adopting gender-smart policies, companies may be able to fill the gaps unaddressed by laws and minimise the impacts of inequality in the workplace. Although not all women work in these institutions, such policies are nonetheless impactful for those who do and could set in motion a new and replicable culture of work – one that is both business-smart and more gender-inclusive.