Business

What unpaid labor represents to the Brazilian economy

In other Latin American countries, unpaid labor makes up around one-fifth of GDP. But Brazil doesn't even calculate domestic and care work

What unpaid labor represents to the Brazilian economy
Photo: Sergey Mironov/Shutterstock

Since March, when governments around Latin America started to enact lockdowns and other social isolation measures, several sectors of the economy either slowed down or were brought to a standstill. One, however, was unaffected: unpaid labor, largely comprising care work and homemaking. 

In Brazil, these activities — predominantly carried out by women — are not factored into the calculation of the country’s GDP. But despite lying invisible, this area is an important element of the economy — in some countries, it represents up to one-fifth of GDP.

“Our societies organize the production of goods and services based on the relationship...

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