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Investigación económica

versión impresa ISSN 0185-1667


RENDON, Teresa. The division of the work by sex in the world. Inv. Econ [online]. 2001, vol.61, n.238, pp.157-202. ISSN 0185-1667.

This paper provides a general overview of the division of work among men and women in to­ day's world, pointing out the main differences among regions. Despite the generalized increase of female participation rates in economic activities for the market, more than one half of the adult women around the world is only involved in the production of goods and services for family consumption (including for children and old people). Toe text presents several examples of this variation. It becomes evident that the process of feminization of the labor force is not only due to the growing incorporation of women, but also to a reduction in the levels of male participation. One of the main signs of the unfavorable situation of women in the labor market is that they earn on average less than the men. There is evidence, however, that in many places the differences in average hourly wages among the sexes is declining, often as a result of a deterioration in men's working conditions.

Survey samples about time allocation confirm that in a wide variety of countries, including the industrialized ones, household production continues to be very important. Although the correspondinng chores are basically women's responsibility, men's participation is increasing. In spite of the fact that the traditional division of labor among sexes continues to dominate throughout the world, some changes that are now observable will likely bring about more significant changes in the near future. However, one of the principal obstacles to achieving an equitable distribution of domestic responsibilities is the length of most men's working day.

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