This Is How Much Women’s Household Labor Would Be Worth if They Earned Minimum Wage

How many zeros is that?

women's unpaid labor
Look at all that money women didn't earn.

It’s no secret that in this, the year 2020, women around the world still bear a significantly greater burden of care work and household labor than their male partners and coworkers. In honor of International Women’s Day, the New York Times ran the numbers to see just how much all that unpaid labor is worth, and it turns out that number is greater than all the money made in 2018 by the 50 biggest companies in the world combined.

That number? $10,900,000,000,000, AKA $10.9 trillion. According to an analysis by Oxfam, that’s the amount of money women worldwide would have made if they were paid minimum wage for their unpaid care work and household labor. That number, as the Times noted, exceeds the combined revenue of the 50 largest companies on last year’s Fortune Global 500 list, including giants like Walmart, Apple and Amazon.

In the United States alone, where women reportedly perform an average of four hours of unpaid work per day compared to men’s two and a half hours, women’s unpaid labor would be worth $1.5 trillion.

The Times also took a look at the distribution of unpaid work between genders across the world. India had the largest gap, with women spending nearly six hours a day on housework compared to men’s mere 52 minutes. The smallest divides are found in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, where social programs providing care for children and the elderly are in place. Worldwide, the World Economic Forum estimates it will be another century before every country achieves gender parity.

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