Invisible Female Labor Is Worth at Least 8.5% of the Brazilian GDP, as Shown by Research

The care economy, which burdens women, was the topic of a national exam essay

Doing the laundry, hanging, folding, ironing, and storing clothes, sweeping the house, dusting, cleaning the floor and the bathroom, taking out the trash, organizing cabinets, watering plants, grocery shopping, storing groceries, cooking, washing dishes.

These are some examples of the care economy: a series of domestic tasks and efforts with dependents (children, the elderly, the sick, or people with disabilities) that need to be carried out so that everyone can produce and fulfill their role in society.

But there is a discrimination factor in this care economy: 65% of the work is done by women.

If computed, this effort would add at least 8.5% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, according to researchers from FGV Ibre (Brazilian Institute of Economics of the Getulio Vargas Foundation).

In total, including tasks performed by men, the care economy represents 13% of the GDP.

The topic gained relevance last Sunday (5), when the Enem (National High School Exam) proposed the essay topic "Challenges for addressing the invisibility of care work performed by women in Brazil."

"In our patriarchal and sexist society, caregiving has always been a task relegated to women, while men are expected to work," says economist Hildete Pereira de Melo, with a master's degree in production engineering and a doctorate in industrial and technological economics.

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