Unpaid Care Work Across the World as Measured by Time-Use Surveys

  • Jacques Charmes
Part of the Demographic Transformation and Socio-Economic Development book series (DTSD, volume 10)


Informal paid work is a formidable reserve of resilience and so is unpaid care work as well as time spent in social activities: socialising or leisure. Data from time-use surveys can be used for measuring the potential of resilience contained in unpaid care work including volunteering care work, which, in a certain manner, is also part of “socialising”. Time-use surveys are less well known that other household surveys and their results and findings are less widely disseminated. They are also more complex to understand and to use for common users. A presentation of time-use surveys across the world, their methodologies, their principles and the indicators that they generate, is developed prior to an assessment of the importance of unpaid care work globally and across the world, emphasising in particular the huge gender inequalities resulting from our patriarchal societies where the bulk of unpaid care work is assigned to women. Trends over time highlight the general tendency towards a more balanced distribution of the unpaid care burden between men and women over time. Then observations and evidences about the gender distribution of unpaid care work across the life cycle attempt to provide some insights on its role in resilience.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Charmes
    • 1
  1. 1.IRD University of Paris DescartesParisFrance

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