By Sarah Mazirwe – Kampala, Uganda, Friday, November 29, 2019.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics – UBOS’ report released in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, Thursday, November 28, 2019, Ugandans spend more than ten hours of their time on unproductive work.
UBOS is a government agency for coordinating the development and maintenance of a National Statistical System which will ensure collection, analysis, and dissemination of integrated, reliable and timely statistical information.
The survey was done by UBOS with support from UN Women in 112 districts using UBOS Time Use Survey 2017 to create insight on time use, role allocation and perceptions about work by gender in Uganda.
The survey found out that Ugandans spend 4 hours of their day time on productive work, with the remaining 20 hours used for unpaid care work and unproductive work.
The greater part of the day accounting for 13 hours is spent on unproductive work like sleeping, resting, relaxing, eating, drinking and personal care work.
In this survey, utilisation of time was categorised into three elements; productive work, unpaid care work, and unproductive work. Productive work included having more people spending their time on employment and related activities and the money value is attached to it.
Unpaid domestic and care work included food preparation, dishwashing, cleaning and upkeep of a dwelling, laundry, ironing, gardening, caring for pets, shopping, installation, servicing and repair of personal and household goods, childcare, care of the sick, elderly, disabled, household members.
Unproductive work was categorised in socializing, community participation and religious practices, culture, leisure, mass media and sports practices, self-care, and maintenance.
It also estimated that women spend more time in unpaid work compared to men. Women spend six and a half hours doing unpaid work. The study also found out that men spend more time on productive work for five hours compared to women who spend three hours.
81% of women and 79% of men, according to the report agree that it is the responsibility of a woman to take care of her home and family. Danstan Aguta the statistician of Methods and Analysis at UBOS said the findings can be attributed to existing stereotypes on gender roles that need to be tackled. “These results can be related to gender stereotypes that existed that women should be in the kitchen, and taking care of the house chores,” Aguta said.
Aguta challenged the findings saying women can equally do work that has been predominantly done by male counterparts. “Women could equally participate in doing those activities which are believed to be done by men, instead of doing work that is not paid for,” Aguta emphasised.
According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on international labor standards, normal working hours should not exceed 48 hours a week and eight hours a day. United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) November 2018 report showed that 1.2 million youth in Uganda between the ages of 15 and 29 are idle.
The state minister for Gender and Culture, Peace Mutuuzo advised youths to stop wasting time on social media, politicking and abusing people, but rather use the internet to look out for opportunities.
She also cautioned government workers who use office time to do their personal work and requested the government to install Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in offices to monitor unproductive and dodging workers.
“There are government officials who don’t work, they come and hang their coats on their chairs and move out, come back in the evening, with CCTVs in place, they won’t negotiate, we shall catch them,” Mutuuzo said.
The study recommended the need for awareness creation and mindset change in promoting women’s rights through the use of role models, to close the gender gap in time use and role allocation and enhance gender empowerment.