Enjeux économiques et éthiques de la mesure du travail non rémunéré des femmes
Article [Version of Record]
Is part ofÉthique et Économique / Ethics and Economics ; vol. 10, no 2
Publisher(s)Centre de recherche en éthique de l'Université de Montréal
A large part of the work done by women is not counted in the gross national product (GDP) of nations. Which type of work are we referring to? Unpaid work; also commonly called domestic work. Because all the services produced by households for their own consumption are not subject to monetary exchange, they are excluded from de production boundary defined by the United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA). In doing so, this key statistics, inspired by the Keynesian school of thoughts, shows an accepted iniquity in the quantification of the product since women’s productive contribution within the households is not taken into account. In other words, national accounts are not gender neutral. In fact, this breach of a fundamental ethical rule which is equity towards gender inequalities is just the reflection of a social conception that prevails within the SNA since its creation, namely that domestic work is not considered as work. It is therefore essential to quantify women’s unpaid work, a concern that has long been the preserve of feminist activists even though; this should go beyond feminists considerations. This article shows how the issue of measuring unpaid work on a broader prospective is relevant on both ethical and economic fronts. The recognition of this production factor as a macroeconomic variable is indeed fundamental to get a more complete understanding and assessment of the economy. Valorization of unpaid work would also allow women to claim better retribution, or at least, to expect an effective social recognition of their actions and efforts and in the end would contribute to the establishment of greater social justice.