Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The Unnayan Onneshan (UO), an independent multidisciplinary think-tank, finds that the total unpaid domestic work carried out by women in Bangladesh is equivalent to 10.75 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country.

The nation-wide survey based estimate of women domestic work in Bangladesh, first of its kind in the country and released in connection with the International Women’s Day, reveals that the total unpaid work per year might be equivalent to BDT 1115.9148 billion or US$ 14.45 billion. The total GDP of the country was BDT 10379.90 billion in the FY 2012-13.

The research organisation estimates that the total engagement of women domestic work in Bangladesh might be equivalent to 9.3 million full-employment per year.

The UO conducted a country-wide survey in seven districts of seven administrative divisions and the number of households from each district was selected using Probability Proportional to Size (PPS) method.

A total of 520 women, comprising 202 from rural and 318 from urban areas, were chosen randomly and interviewed for the purpose of this pioneering research.
It applied two recognised methods – the opportunity cost and the market replacement cost – to estimate the monetary value of the unpaid household work by women in the country.

The opportunity cost method, which measures the amount what women would earn if they are employed as waged labourers instead of engaged in unpaid domestic work, esitimates that the total unpaid women work per year might be equivalent to BDT 1115.9148 billion.

Using another method, the think tank finds out that the total amount of the unpaid work by women in Bangladesh might be equivalent to BDT 336. 91858 billion or $ 4.36 billion, if the market replacement cost method is employed which is computed based upon what it would have been spent to hire someone to carry out the work.

The private organisation observes that the economic value of unpaid domestic work by women would have been much higher if the wages of women in Bangladesh were not comparatively low and the wage deferential between men and women was not so high. “The percentage of the value of unpaid work in the share of GDP in Bangladesh remains low as compared to other countries due to the lower wage structure in different occupations in Bangladesh,” it noted.

BBN/SSR/AD-07Mar14-8:45 pm (BST)