During 2020, the year the Covid-19 to Mexico, significantly increased the time that people spend at home. Online classes, remote work and everything closed outside, in the same measure increased the chores and care needs within Mexican homes.

The bad: these tasks are distributed unevenly, they are precarious and stigmatized activities and this causes deficiencies in the entire economic apparatus.

Cleaning the house, cooking, grocery shopping, helping children with homework, and taking care of grandmother when she is ill are activities that most of the women and some men perform without pay. But this does not mean that they do not have an economic value.

During 2020, all this work reached a value equivalent to 27.6% of the national GDP, according to figures from the Household Unpaid Work Satellite Account in Mexico 2020, carried out by the Inegi (National Institute of Statistics and Geography).

So, if the market paid all the mothers, daughters or sisters for their work, each one would have to receive 5,761 pesos each month for their work. For men who perform Work from home the value of their work would be 2,265 pesos per month.

These averages reach significantly larger gaps when certain intersectionalities such as socioeconomic status, marital status or educational level are joined. The figures reflect that the poorest women, who are married or with a lower level of education, spend significantly more time on housework and care than men and women in different conditions.

The distribution

During 2020 one of the labor problems that had already existed since before deepened: the overload of these tasks in women, who spend 2.7 times more time than their male companions at home.

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With the confinements, the burden and needs of care and guidance within the homes increased and the impact of this was differentiated between men and women, the female working population more frequently left their jobs, got lower-ranking jobs to have more time or He faced longer hours for his paid work plus housework. ´

It also highlights that one of the items in which the time allocated was increased was health care, which went from 48 to 52 million hours, as part of the unprecedented incidence of Covid-19 patients or other diseases but that They could not be cared for in hospitals or clinics and remained at home.

The time poverty is the term that identifies one of the main consequences of these inequalities in the performance of household work and caring for minors, the sick or the elderly.

This is reflected, for example, in figures from the ENUT (National Survey on the Use of Time); While women work 37.9 hours a week in their paid jobs, they also dedicate 39.7 hours to work inside their homes: an even longer day without pay. For his male counterparts, the figures are 47.7 and 15.2 hours per week, respectively.

While the male population allocates 4.4 hours per week to rest or meditate, women can only dedicate 3.8 hours to this area; men spend 6.2 hours each week on health care, women only 5.2 hours.

A comprehensive system

This disproportionate burden on home maintenance and caring for others is not only unfair, it is also of little benefit in different spheres.

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The Inmujeres (National Institute of Women) continues to work on the implementation of a National System of Care that has as transversal axes: the right to be cared for in an optimal way; the rights of caregivers; and the equal gender redistribution of these tasks.

The home activities, which have been stigmatized and undervalued, are activities that have a market value. Getting them done in an optimal, timely, valued, and equal manner is one of the most important tasks in the public sphere.


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