Women’s work was ever thus

From the comments:

Tim fancy taking down that old oxfam factoid about women globally performing 60% of the world work and getting 10% of the income

And women own the majority of the world’s wealth (widows, you see?) and decide upon how 80% of how household income is spent. That’s why men are always gormless idiots in the ads and women and the strong and wise ones.

Not entirely obvious that this is unfair to women.

13 thoughts on “Women’s work was ever thus”

  1. bloke (not) in spain

    There you go. And only yesterday i was watching a brave wife coping with a stumbling, barely functional, cretin & wondering what happened to those ads of the sixties, portrayed couples as a smiling, loving, competent team? Or even the husband as the reliable steady hand in time of need?
    Balance of spending power changed in the seventies?

  2. It’s going to vary a lot based on culture, who is doing the most production. For instance in much of traditional African culture, women do most of the practical work; getting multiple wives is basically hiring an agricultural workforce who do the weeding (big problem in Africa, weeding).

  3. It’s going to vary a lot based on culture, who is doing the most production. For instance in much of traditional African culture, women do most of the practical work; getting multiple wives is basically hiring an agricultural workforce who do the weeding

    That’s whole swathes of the world: the women do the agricultural work with a baby strapped to their backs while the men loll about doing fuck all. Why Oxfam feel the need to harangue northern Europeans about this I don’t know.

  4. @ Tim
    It is well-known and well-documented that American women own a majority of American wealth – I doubt that is necessarily true of the world as a whole any more due to the explosive growth of Russian and Chinese billionaires who are overwhelmingly male (and former members of Komsomol/current members of the Chonese Communist Party), with leser but comparable growth in billionaires/multi-millionnaires in other FSU/Communist countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Angola.
    US women receive getting on for 10% of the world’s income (some tables say they get more).
    So Oxfam is blatantly talking nonsense on that.
    60% of work? How do they know? Ah, because we all “know” that women do more housework. Years ago a young lady Brahmin worked in the section which I nominally managed (as she was the most junior I delegated to her the job allocation role, which HR thought my principal responsibility, while I got on with doing more of the actual job that we had to do ‘cos I was good at that and pretty useless at dealing with people: she did it very well, all by mutual consent): her husband could never admit to his mother that he shared the housework, so how does Oxfam know?

  5. So Much for Subtlety

    Tim Newman – “That’s whole swathes of the world: the women do the agricultural work with a baby strapped to their backs while the men loll about doing fuck all. Why Oxfam feel the need to harangue northern Europeans about this I don’t know.”

    Because they won’t feel guilty about it but we will. It is just basic fund raising.

  6. @BF

    Some time ago I went a way down the road with a mate to starting a clothing brand called ‘Sweatshop’ which would have included the following information on the label: “Made in Asian sweatshops by poor brown people who are only allowed five minutes for a piss every hour”.

    With some actual basic economics on the website explaining why this is a good thing and a press office standard reply saying “No-one forces anyone to buy our clothes, or work in our factory, and if you can’t be arsed to understand why sweatshops are a good thing, fuck off.”

    I still might do it, there’s a market there I’m sure.

    I like everything about that shirt you link to, it amuses me; their response is craven sadly.

  7. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “It’s going to vary a lot based on culture, who is doing the most production. For instance in much of traditional African culture, women do most of the practical work; getting multiple wives is basically hiring an agricultural workforce who do the weeding (big problem in Africa, weeding).”

    Do they? Africa tends to be stuck with hoe agriculture. Most of the rest of the world moved on to ploughs. Obviously a plough tends to be manly work. But hoes tend to be women’s work. There are articles on the slave trade that make this distinction and seem to think it is important.

    But do women make up most of the agricultural workforce today? I was a bit surprised by this from Wikipedia:

    Sectoral distribution of employed persons, by sector and sex (2004 through 2007)[11]
    Region Agriculture Industry Services
    Africa 43% women / 42% men 11% women / 20% men 46% women / 39% men
    Asia (excluding China) 32% women / 26% men 12% women / 25% men 56% women / 49% men
    Latin America and the Caribbean 7% women / 22% men 13% women / 27% men 80% women / 51% men
    Europe and other more developed regions 6% women / 8% men 15% women / 36% men 79% women / 55% men

    More detailed statistics show large differences even within these regions. For example, 11% of employed women in East Asia are employed in agriculture, a number that rises to 55% in South Asia;70% of women in Southern Africa are employed in the service sector, while in Eastern, Middle, and Western Africa this number is 26%.

    But that is about paid employment, not work per se.

  8. So Much for Subtlety

    Interested – “Some time ago I went a way down the road with a mate to starting a clothing brand called ‘Sweatshop’ which would have included the following information on the label: “Made in Asian sweatshops by poor brown people who are only allowed five minutes for a piss every hour”.”

    People can only stand so much truth. They may want Brown people to become rich, they may not. But they don’t want to think where their shirt has been. What they want is to feel good about the purchase but make sure it is as cheap as possible.

    So I would sell t-shirts made in the same sweatshops. But I would say that a proportion of the profits goes to save the Tibetan rain forest or whatever. Not a big proportion of course. Not by a long shot. And even then most of that would have to go to fact-finding missions to make sure that the rain forests in the Bahamas or wherever were doing fine. Especially around June or July.

    Although if you said that a proportion of the profits were going to putting the younger brothers of some very pretty Thai girls through college, I would buy six.

  9. Interested – If you need someone to source those clothes in the Philippines I’m your man 😉

  10. Just out of interest, do you have a source for these figures? ‘t’would be interesting for deploying in arguments…

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