The unbalanced price paid by women in inequality

One often speaks, and more and more following the health crisis, of increasing inequalities. In 2019, the 2159 (known) billionaires on this planet, the vast majority of them men, had a fortune greater than those of the poorest 4.6 billion people, and the 22 richest men more than all African women ( among which we count Isabel Dos Santos whom we have already mentioned). Much has been said about it, and we are not going to repeat what everyone already knows, and often denounces, without real prospects for development emerging. However, one dimension is often overlooked in this debate, the work of women.

📸 Analise Benevides


Oxfam, in a study published in January of this year, tried to value informal work, without which the economic system could not function. These are the billions of hours of essential work, unpaid or underpaid, accomplished in the great majority by women and girls, often poor and victims of this discrimination according to their race, their nationality, their caste. They are spent in cooking, cleaning, fetching wood or water, taking care of children or the elderly or disabled, all tasks essential to the well-being of societies and communities, and to the proper functioning of the economy. They free up and thus make available a whole workforce that constitutes the base of the productive pyramid and promotes this overconsumption that we regularly denounce. And fatten those who sit at the top. These countless tasks, if not done, would have to be borne by the states, or the community in one way or another. The economic system, combined with patriarchal traditions, therefore prevents us from directly bearing this cost. An estimate of the value of this work: 10,000 billion dollars, probably underestimated because it is based on the minimum wage, lower in many countries than that which simply allows a living. A few more figures to give all its dimension to this situation: of the 67 million domestic workers in the world, 80% are women; in rural communities, women spend an average of 14 hours on unpaid work, compared to just 4 hours for men.


This is why the emancipation and empowerment of women is the 2nd pillar of our Foundation, hoping to make our contribution to correcting this unacceptable imbalance, beyond our concern for the environment.


This is why the emancipation and empowerment of women is the 2nd pillar of our Foundation, hoping to make our contribution to correcting this unacceptable imbalance, beyond our concern for the environment.

The Mangrove Foundation

31 Boulevard Joseph II

L-1840 Luxembourg

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

© Mangrove Foundation 2010

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