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Household Chores in Senegal: 47 Hours per Week for Women, 5 Hours for Men Finds a Study


Women are the true guardians of the temples. According to a report commissioned by UN Women and the Ministry of Women on Senegal, they spend more time on domestic work than men. The actors welcome the existence of an evaluation report card that will enable the authorities to take decisions and correct inequalities and disparities between men and women.

It is no exaggeration to say that it is women who run the homes. Their domestic work time far exceeds that of men. A recent study on domestic work in Senegal, commissioned by the Ministry of Women and UN Women, reveals that they devote 47 hours of work per week, unlike men who count only 5 hours on domestic work. « These figures show that the time used by women for unpaid work, including caregiving, is higher than that of men, » Ndiaye said.

According to the chief of staff of the Minister of Women, Family and Child Protection, « These are statistics focused on unpaid work and female leadership. » This is an injustice that needs to be redressed. Given the volume of unpaid work done by women, the loss of income is invaluable. « This working time is not valued. We all know that if it were valued in our economic systems, we would perceive the contribution of women in the growth of GDP in Senegal and in the world.This is a major challenge in today’s world, » said Mohamed Ndiaye. According to him, this shortfall can be estimated at billions. « I don’t have statistical data, but it’s obvious that it’s huge in terms of cost if we take the unit cost per hour of an average employee in a given country, which we multiply by 47 and by 30 days, you will see what it looks like. If we multiply by 350 days, we have an annual estimate of several billion. This contribution to GDP growth is immeasurable, » he advanced. According to Mr. Ndiaye, the unpaid work that women do to take care of the family, of society, is an injustice. « We need to fix this, » he said.

« An injustice to be repaired… »

It is in this sense that UN Women has developed the global programme entitled « Women count » in 11 countries including Senegal, which aims to induce a radical change in the production, availability, accessibility and use of quality statistical data on key aspects of gender equality and women’s empowerment. This is the relevance of this workshop to share and validate the report on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) gender and statistical bulletin on political participation and women’s leadership, organised for two days by the actors. To offer ecosystem actors, policy makers, researchers and technical and financial partners, a means that would allow the implementation of a number of important corrections on gender equality. « It is a question of ensuring that men and women are of equal dignity in the delivery of public policies that are carried out in our country, » said the Director of Cabinet of the Minister of Women.

According to Astou Diouf Guèye, Director of Equity and Gender at the Ministry of Women, « This bulletin will highlight the gender disparities that exist in certain sectors, particularly in terms of unpaid work, but also women’s participation and women’s leadership. » It can also be an information tool for decision-makers and decision support. The Director of Equity and Gender added that this data will make it possible to move towards change. « It is on the basis of this data that we will be able to propose corrective measures to strengthen the positioning of women and thereby eliminate disparities and inequalities. » Even though we know Senegal has made remarkable progress in implementing international commitments in gender equality and women’s empowerment, there is still work to be done in assessing gender gaps in the various aspects of development.

By Justin GOMIS / 

  • Translation by Ndey T. SOSSEH
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