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Sanem, MJF demand including women's unaccounted work in GDP

  • Published at 09:26 pm November 4th, 2019
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Atiur Rahman speaks at a dialogue organized by South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem), in partnership with Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), titled 'Recognition of Women’s Unaccounted Work in National GDP and Include in Gender Responsive Budgeting' in Dhaka on Monday, November 4, 2019 Courtesy

These works should be given a formal recognition through calculating its share in the GDP

The valuation of women's unaccounted work needs to be integrated into the national GDP to move away from the notion of male-dominated society.

This was demanded by experts at a dialogue organized by South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (Sanem), in partnership with Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), titled “Recognition of Women’s Unaccounted Work in National GDP and Include in Gender Responsive Budgeting” in Dhaka on Monday.

The dialogue was co-chaired by Dr Selim Raihan, professor of economics, University of Dhaka and executive director, Sanem and Shaheen Anam, executive director, Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF).

Atiur Rahman, honorary professor of development studies at University of Dhaka and chairperson of Unnayan Shamannay, was also present as guest of honour.

Dr Selim Raihan said: "If we look at the government’s labour force survey, we see that the female labour force participation rate is 36%, which has been stagnant from 2010 while the male participation rate is above 80%. This is only the market labour force. The problem is not only on supply side, but also on the demand side. The main issue regarding the supply side is the household care burden carried out by women.”

He also said: "The valuation of non-labour market household care work is important because we need to acknowledge the contribution of women’s unaccounted household works to dignify this contribution in a male dominated society. Our purpose is to create awareness and change the perception of the policymakers, academicians and civil society.”

Shaheen Anam, executive director of MJF, said: "Women’s works are mostly reproductive and productive; we hardly recognize their productive works. These works should be given a formal recognition through calculating its share in the GDP. We need to realize this project’s importance to uphold women’s dignity and we need political commitment to achieve this.”

Prof Sayema Haque Bidisha, research director at Sanem, said w omen’s economic contribution can be broadly classified through 3 avenues- paid, unpaid family work and unpaid, unrecognized and unaccounted domestic work.

"We will focus on the last one, as it takes up a lot of effort and time but is not represented in the GDP and in the market. The most important obstacle we faced was in taking up the proxy pricing of the unaccounted work, as these works are not accumulated in the market.”