A large part of economic activities undertaken by women in Bangladesh including household chores, care and agriculture work remain unaccounted for. This is due to limitations of conventional measures such as gross domestic product (GDP) that primarily considers goods and services produced for markets. As a result, wrong signals are transmitted to policymakers whose allocative and distributional decisions are then influenced by this.
CPD in partnership with the Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF) undertook a study that applied time use survey technique to understand time use patterns of 8,320 women and 5,334 men in 5,670 households across the 64 districts of Bangladesh. This study contributes several new findings that have implications for the System of National Accounts (SNA).
- Time spent per day on non-SNA activities by a female member in a household is about three times higher than that by a male member.
- On an average, on a typical day, a woman works for about 7.7 hours on non-SNA activities undertaking 12.1 non-SNA tasks, while a man works for about 2.5 hours and does 2.7 non-SNA tasks.
- The estimated value of women’s unpaid non-SNA activities was equivalent to 76.8 per cent of Bangladesh’s GDP in FY2013-14 based on the replacement cost method and 87.2 per cent of GDP based on the willingness to accept method.
It is hoped that, by recognising women’s real contribution to the economy, policymakers and relevant stakeholders will be motivated to play a more proactive role to advance women’s position in different spheres of socio-economic life in Bangladesh.
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