Five: Rural-urban and gender differences in time spent in unpaid household work in India

This chapter addresses the crucial issues of gender and rural–urban differences in the time spent on unpaid household work in India. These are particularly pressing issues given the wide disparities between these groups. Women are largely under-represented in the workforce in India. According to a McKinsey Global Institute report on gender parity, women in India are almost ten times more likely to be engaged in unpaid work such as cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children and older members of the family than are men. This compares with a global average of roughly three times the amount of time spent by men. The findings that women spend more time than men in unpaid household activities related to management and maintenance and care of children, sick, elderly and disabled household members provide clear evidence that there is gender division of unproductive and productive activities which is induced by prevailing sociocultural norms and practices.

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