The Double Burden: the impact of economic empowerment initiatives on women’s workload.

In all countries, women and girls do the bulk of unpaid care work. On average, women spend twice as much time on household work as men and four times as much time on childcare. Women also work longer hours than men overall when both paid and unpaid work is taken into account.

This brief draws on research conducted in Solomon Islands in 2014 in two research sites in Makira province and three research sites in Malaita province, as part of the Do No Harm research project. Do No Harm is a collaboration between the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia (SSGM) at the Australian National University and IWDA and is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Pacific Women program.

The brief draws out key themes which emerged from this research in relation to the impact of expanded economic opportunities for women on their time-use and existing work burdens. In general, this research in the Solomon Islands demonstrated that women’s increased involvement in community financial management and income generation has not necessarily led to a redistribution of caring work or other unpaid household and community responsibilities. The findings also suggest that time-use, including roles within Savings Clubs, was a source of conflict within some households, particularly if it was seen as impinging on women’s family responsibilities. This has implications for women’s physical and mental well being.


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