How to measure unpaid care work and address its inequalities?
Recent election manifestos had promised various forms of payment to homemakers, thus putting the spotlight on the unpaid domestic work done by women.
What is unpaid care work?
According to the OECD, it refers to all unpaid services provided within a household for its members, including care of persons, housework and voluntary community work. These activities are considered work because theoretically one could pay a third person to perform them.
What’s the issue now?
Standard measures of economic activity do not take into account a large portion of this work, much of which is done by women and girls.
McKinsey estimates that women do 75% of the world’s total unpaid care work.
The economic contribution of women is 17% of India’s GDP — less than half the global average.
This inequality has a direct correlation with participation in the formal economy.
Implications for India:
India has slipped 28 places to rank 140th among 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021.
Among the drivers of this decline is a decrease in women’s labour force participation rate, which fell from 24.8 per cent to 22.3 per cent.
Earned income of women in India is only one-fifth of men’s, which puts the country among the bottom 10 globally on this indicator.
What needs to be done?
Policies should address the rising need for care and tackle the huge disparity between women’s and men’s care responsibilities.
More data will make more unpaid care work visible and help frame targeted policies and enable better monitoring of the impact of policies and investments.
Reduce unpaid care work by investment in physical infrastructure like clean water and sanitation, energy and public transport, and in social infrastructure such as care and health services and education.
Redistribution of care work between men and women, and between families and the state will encourage positive social norms and economic development.
Measuring and monetising care work:
The value of unpaid work can be estimated by calculating the amount of time spent on it – through time use surveys – and then putting a price on it by calculating the opportunity cost or replacement cost, or by measuring the labour inputs that go into the activity. But this has its own challenges.
CEC moves Supreme Court against Madras HC’s comments
The Chief Election Commissioner of India has appealed to the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition against the oral comments attributed to the judges of the Madras High Court on the poll body and its officials, portraying them as responsible for the surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
CEC urged the court to direct the police not to register cases for murder against Election Commission officials or take any coercive action on the basis of media reports on oral observations attributed to the High Court judges.
What’s the issue?
Madras High Court had recently made some oral comments against the Election commission and its officials, portraying them as responsible for the surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
It has also been reported that the judge called for concerned officers to be put up for murder charges.
Now, the Election Commission wants to obtain an order from the Madras High Court to gag the media from reporting oral observations made by judges during the hearing of elections-related cases.
Oral comments would impact or lower the faith of the masses in the poll body and the democratic process.
It is also not justified in the least for an independent constitutional authority to make allegations against another which would effectively tarnish the image of the latter.
Article 136 in the Constitution Of India:
Special leave to appeal by the Supreme Court:
Notwithstanding anything in this Chapter, the Supreme Court may, in its discretion, grant special leave to appeal from any judgment, decree, determination, sentence or order in any cause or matter passed or made by any court or tribunal in the territory of India.
Nothing in clause ( 1 ) shall apply to any judgment, determination, sentence or order passed or made by any court or tribunal constituted by or under any law relating to the Armed Forces.
Congo Declares End Of Latest Ebola Outbreak
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has officially declared the end of the 12th Ebola outbreak.
Since the outbreak declared on February 7, 2021, a total of 12 cases have been reported.
Thanks to the experience of the DRC’s response team and health partners, the epidemic has been brought under control in less than three months after its declaration.
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.
Transmission: The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.
The average EVD case fatality rate is around 50%. Case fatality rates have varied from 25% to 90% in past outbreaks.
Prevention: Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service and social mobilisation.
Treatment: Early supportive care with rehydration, symptomatic treatment improves survival. There is yet no licensed treatment proven to neutralise the virus but a range of blood, immunological and drug therapies are under development.