What is female unpaid labour worth?

Authors Mahmood Messkoub, Nader Mehri, Mahmood Ghazi-Tabatabai used several Iranian censuses and their own national survey of the wages of care workers and private tutors to provide the first national estimates of the monetary value of unpaid domestic work of married urban housewives.

Based on their findings, they estimate this unpaid work to be worth over US$26 billion in 2008 and 2009 comprising 8.6% of non-oil GDP in both years.

They add that these figures are underestimates because rural women, non-housewife urban women and urban unmarried women were not included in the study.

Social policy implications

They argue that such unrecorded contributions to national output have important social policy implications because various social policy measures, especially social insurance policies, do not cover married housewives in their own right but as dependents of their husbands.

Providing a monetary estimate of their unpaid work makes their contribution to the economy visible. They contend that this should lead to the provision of social insurance against basic contingencies of life such as has health problems, poverty, disabilities and support in old age.

The full article is available on Open Access - What is unpaid female labour worth? Evidence from the Time Use Surveys of Iran in 2008 and 2009

International Association for Time Use Research

The article is published in the Journal of Time Use Research, published by the International Association for Time Use Research.

Associate professor
Dr Nader Mehri
Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute
Dr Mahmoud Ghazi-Tabatabaie