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Gender-specific Work Distribution

Discuss about the Transnational Migration of Domestic and Care.

Notions and theories with regards job, work, care giving, family and gender equality is not the same across the globe and hence major variations are noticed. There is a continuous tiff with regards maintaining a balance between the work and family. Gender equality is a global issue now. Various international institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, World Economic Forum, OECD Management and the G20 and such other various global institutions are presenting detailed reports and new data sets that look into the gender gap that exists globally and teach global equality to the world at large (Peng, 2017). All these reports, emphasise upon women working and how it would benefit the economies in the long run along with development of the human. However the issue here is that if men and women are paid equally, then who would perform the job of unpaid care and reproductive work which are presently being done by the women(Akhtar, 2016). As per the global statistics, women are the one who have a duty to take care of three quarter of all the labour which does not have any payments such as care of the children, elderly people at home and those who are ill or disabled at home as well.

Gender equality is the talk of the town across countries but how the same is determined and is shaped by the existing work/care regimes in particular countries differs noticeably. The accounting for these variables call for an investigative framework that takes into account the sum of the labour which is needed to deliver new goods and services and the labour which is spent to give birth to the community and form a society. These components taken together contributes towards formation of ‘total social organization of labour.’ Across countries in the world, the distribution of the work has been gender specific since past wherein the women are always suppressed and paid less per their capacity and capability and over-represented in unpaid care and continuation toil.

The tradition of sex dissimilarity in the allocation of whole employment is dogged by the lines of the existing work/care regimes. It is the values and the rules that determine as to how a person contemplates work and care and how the same is understood by the society broadly, which defines as to what combines a good or proper mother, a good or ideal father and a good worker. Work/care regimes also emphasises upon a much broader gender order which is likely to differ as per the class, ethnicity, area and religion as well (Mackie, 2015). Any consideration of the featured parts of a particular country’s work/care regimes boils down to answering some of the crucial questions such as who performs the job of care, who pays for the job of care and where is the care provided.

Reasons for Women Joining the Paid Workforce

Women nowadays are a part of the paid work category for a number of causes. First and foremost is the low income category into which they fall where poverty is the main cause for them to toil for money. Economic crisis can also be a main reason for women to come out of their houses and start working for money. The said situation arose in Indonesia due to the Asian Financial Crisis Management which crept in the year 1997-1998 and in India as well where there was crisis in the rural sector in the early 2000s, due to which millions of women were forced by the circumstances to take up underpaid jobs (Hill, 2017).

However the other side of the coin comprises of those women who are well educated and hence they desire to work. Also there are times when these educated women so as to challenge the existing gender inequality. In the Asia-Pacific however, prototypes of the women’s labour force involvement are not so knowable. Such as India is a country wherein the contribution of women in the labour workforce is very less in comparison to other countries who have practically the same level of per capita income (Oxfam.org., 2016). Even within the countries the association amid the monetary and financial growth and women’s enlarged and amplified labour force contribution is not mechanical. The reason behind the same is that the latter is dependent upon the socio-economic, cultural and political factors which takes into account the education of the women, social norms around marriage, fertility and the role of a female apart from the household that comprises of the domestic description and institutional settings such as laws related to labour and social protection frameworks.

The fact that the female labour force participation has witnessed some stabilisation over the past twenty years in the global context, cannot be denied, however, with a slight decline within the female working age population(aged 15 years and above) from 52.2% in 1992 to 51.4% in 2012. But the said downfall in the figures is for a good reason i.e. increased education impartment within the girls and their retention as well. Further women who fall within the category of 25 years and above have witnessed a slight increase from 53.1% in 1992 to 54.2% in 2012. Unfortunately these global trends camouflage some of the most striking differences in the national participation patterns across Asia-Pacific. Although there has been a sudden surge in the participation of women in the labour work force in countries such as New Zealand, Australia and South Korea. Even in Philippines there has been an improvement in the last two decades which falls under the middle income category. By compare, India and China, two such economies who are emerging ones in a big way have lodged in a declining labour force participation rates for females, suggesting that rapid and high rates of economic growth management have not been able to deliver the ‘inclusive development’ which their respective governments vouch for (Gornick, and Marcia 2004). The rate at which women are being paid for their job has been steady in Japan, Malaysia and also in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea who fall under the category of poor developing economies. Not only this, within the stated national trends, labour force participation of women differs basis their class, ethnics, location and religious profile, emphasizing specific patterns of inequality in the region.

Female Labor Force Participation Rates in Asia-Pacific

Asia-Pacific’s trend with regards work/care regimes along with dealing with gender equality i..e participation of women in the work force has been flat with no undulating trends noticed. The low status of many of their paid work, calls for a variety of questions about the economic growth structure, poverty mitigation and blockades to women’s prolonged contribution in paid monetary activity. There is witnessed, higher level of gender inequality with regards the formal wage and salary workers wherein the men are unreasonably given employment in secure jobs and full time as well, whereas the women are employed for part-time as well as insecure jobs (United Nations ESCAP, 2014).

Women in Asia-Pacific, have to suffer from undertaking one fo the most important responsibility of reproductive labour which comprises of various kinds of unpaid work and care. Time use surveys reveal that across the region women, on an average are seen to perform more than twice the unpaid work of men even though there is a stark variability, wherein the female to male ratio of unpaid care registering between an average 1.71 in New Zealand and 9.8 in India. Unfortunately, in Asia-Pacific, there is very little support being noticed when it comes to the provision of caring labour (Baird et.al. 2017). Publicly extended child and elderly care services are not present or reachable or reasonably priced in most of the regions. However in many countries within Asia-Pacific are seen to have been providing some social support for care, but the additional room for these services is a challenge(Antonopoulos, 2009).

The strategies adopted by the females for the purpose of taking care of these dynamics and their implication on paid work and unpaid care vary greatly across regions within Asia-Pacific. In some parts of the Asia-Pacific, part time employment is a common phenomena wherein the women are seen working in some paid jobs and at the same time also taking care of the family and the reproductive labour as well. But in many wealthy Asian countries, part time work is not so common. Middle class and the high class women manage their household work by employing foreign domestic workers who take up the job of paid care labour.

Conclusion

The supremacy of the family unit as the locus of care replicates the principles of gendered familialism that exists in all the countries of the Asia-Pacific. Gendered Familialism shows that care is basically a private responsibility and duty of all females basis specific assumptions i.e. families are unselfish and it is the inbuilt duty of all women to take care of the family. The anticipation that women should ensure to undertake the role of care givers to the children and elderly people at home in acutely embedded in all the countries within Asia-Pacific. The same is found to be existent in post communist countries such as Cambodia and China as well as the pre-capitalist economies of Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. The scantiness of current work/care regimes and their involvement to enveloping gender inequality converses unswervingly to the comprehensive focus on gender equity and women’s enlarged contribution in the economy. Change is the need of the hour and the same is very much clear. The work/care regimes found in Asia-Pacific offers an opportunity to all to think again about how work and acre are constituted and the role that work/care regimes have to perform in the push towards equality between male and female.

References:

Antonopoulos,R., (2009), The Unpaid Care Work- Paid Work Connection, International Labour Organization Working Paper No. 86 Geneva : ILO

Akhtar,S., (2016), Tackling the Asia-Pacific’s Inequality Trap, Available at https://thediplomat.com/2016/03/tackling-the-asia-pacifics-inequality-trap/ (Accessed 05th October 2017)

Baird,M., Ford,M., & Hill, E., (2017), Women, Work and Care in Asia-Pacific, Routledge: London

Gornick, J. C., and Marcia K. Meyers. (2004). Welfare Regimes in Relation to Paid Work and Care. Chapter 3 in Janet Zollinger Giele and Elke Holst (eds.) Changing Life Patterns in Western Industrial Societies. Netherlands: Elsevier Science Press, 45-67.

Hill,E., (2017), Women, Work and Care in the Asia-Pacific: work/care regimes in a context of extreme inequality, Available at https://ppesydney.net/elizabeth-hill-women-work-care-asia-pacific-workcare-regimes-context-extreme-inequality/ (Accessed 05th October 2017)

Mackie,V., (2015), The Crisis of Care and the Future of Work in the Asia-Pacific Region, Journal and proceedings of the Royal Society of New South Wales, Vol. 148, no. 457 & 458, pp. 176-184. Available at https://royalsoc.org.au/images/pdf/journal/RSNSW_148-2_Mackie.pdf (Accessed 05th October 2017)

Oxfam.org., (2016), Underpaid and Undervalued : How Inequality Defines Women’s Work in Asia, Available at https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/ib-inequality-womens-work-asia-310516.pdf (Accessed 05th October 2017)

Peng,I., (2017), Transnational Migration of Domestic and Care Workers in Asia Pacific, Available at file:///C:/Users/E-ZONE/Downloads/r3.pdf (Accessed 05th October 2017)

United Nations ESCAP., (2014), Confronting Inequalities in Asia and the Pacific : The Role of Social Protection, Available at https://socialprotection-humanrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Social-protection-working-paper-2014.pdf (Accessed 05th October 2017)

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