UPSC MAINS SOCIOLOGY SYLLABUS
Paper 2 – Chapter 10 -Social Change in Modern Society:
- Sociological theories of social change.
- Development and dependency.
- Agents of social change.
- Education and social change.
- Science, technology and social change.
Time poverty refers to the subjective chronic experience of having too many things to do and not enough time to do them in. While this can affect everyone, both rich and poor, time poverty is mostly associated with people living in poverty who often engage in long hours of low-paid or unpaid work which deprives them of many opportunities and deteriorates their health. Furthermore, women are more susceptible to time poverty than men due to the heavy and disproportionate responsibilities that relate to caregiving (e.g., childcare) and domestic activities (e.g., cooking, cleaning).
SIGNIFICANCE OF TIME POVERTY IN SOCIOLOGY
Time poverty creates stress and can harm mental and physical health as affected individuals have little time for self or medical care. Time poverty prevents women from pursuing educational opportunities, developing skills and capabilities, and earning a decent income. At an organization level, employees who feel time-poor are usually less happy, less productive, and more stressed. People affected by time poverty exercise less, eat fattier foods, and have a higher incidence of heart disease.
On a global level, girls between the ages of 10 and 14 spend 50% more time helping around the house than boys of the same age.
In rural Guinea, for example, women devote an average of 25.6 hours per week to domestic work compared to men’s 7.2 hours while in Guatemala, women spend 3.3 hours per day doing unpaid work compared to men’s 0.9 hours.
Every day, an average Indian female spends 5 hours per day in unpaid domestic work, compared to 1.5 hours by a male (NSS Time Use in India, 2019).
TIME POVERTY THROUGH GENDER LENS
Women are subjected to ‘dual burdens’ of household work and work performed for income-generating activities. Household work is unpaid and unrecognized and is classified as ‘unproductive work’ and no equation calculates its direct or indirect value to the economic system. Women face time deficiency for meeting their personal requirements and it is termed as ‘time poverty’ in a simpler way and is often linked to the ‘crises of care’.
Oxfam’s India Inequality Report 2020 highlighted that societal norms in rural areas do not allow women to ask men to share the burden of housework. In an article on time poverty, it is argued that “most people who are time-poor are also income-poor” and they do not have the individual choice to choose their time demands.
4Rs STRATEGY TO TACKLE TIME POVERTY
Redefine: Redefining the roles that women perform. It will require bringing a behavioral change in the men and community towards perceiving women’s roles and responsibilities and also transforming the social structures that are gender-biased.
Redesign: Redesigning the policies and frameworks that aim for gender equality. Also redesigning surveys that are well equipped to capture time poverty in women’s daily life.
Remunerate: Remunerating equally by bridging the wage gap so that women are encouraged to take part in economic activities.
Resource: Creation and access to basic infrastructure facilities and services in rural areas that can reduce women’s time in completing their day-to-day activities (collecting firewood, fetching water from a distant source, etc.). Advocating for Gender responsive care policies, puts the state at the centre of care provisioning, giving it the responsibility for framing policies that recognise and represent women and their needs in decision making arenas.
Restrictive gender norms limit women’s access to paid employment, resources, and control over how resources (including their own time) are used. Time poverty is a human rights issue that must be addressed in order to fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and empower women and girls everywhere to achieve their full human potential, with lasting benefits for their families, communities and nations.