Unpaid care and domestic work are vital for people’s well-being and the functioning of the market economy. Globally, the burden of combining productive and reproductive work has negative consequences on women’s lives, including limiting economic opportunities and power within households. Since these activities are ignored in the System of National Accounts and measures of total production such as GDP, no economic value is attached to unpaid household services despite their tremendous contribution to the economy and society.
One of the key targets of the Sustainable Development Goal 5 is to “recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibilities within the household and the family as nationally appropriate”. Vietnam’s National Strategy for Gender Equality 2011-2020 includes a target to reduce women’s time involvement in household duties under its objective to ensure gender equality in family life.
As part of the Counting Women’s Work (CWW) research, funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Vietnam’s research team is engaging with this issue. The CWW research in Vietnam has been carried out by the the Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs. The findings and policy recommendations emanating from this research were discussed with a variety of stakeholders at a workshop held in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 23 May 2017.