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Beijing Platform for Action. Paragraph 153


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): The Good Men Project

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2019/09/23

153. Women’s share in the labour force continues to rise and almost everywhere women are working more outside the household, although there has not been a parallel lightening of responsibility for unremunerated work in the household and community. Women’s income is becoming increasingly necessary to households of all types. In some regions, there has been a growth in women’s entrepreneurship and other self-reliant activities, particularly in the informal sector. In many countries, women are the majority of workers in non-standard work, such as temporary, casual, multiple part-time, contract and home-based employment.

Beijing Declaration (1995)

In the terms of Paragraph 153 of the Beijing Declaration, the obvious idea here is the raw numbers of women in the labour force out of the total labour force. Women have been left out of the count of the labour force for a long time. In this count, one thing can be recognized in the literal lack of recognition in the past of women’s unpaid work, e.g., housework, childcare, elder care, and the like.

The standards by which work has been defined, and is continuing to be redefined, will impact some of the notions within this paragraph. For example, and as “labour,” work can be referencing both paid and unpaid work. It’s not as if women never worked before. What we tend to find is a context in which men and women have been working while women’s contribution to the workforce have been ignored, now, this world of paid work “outside the household” is the important referent in regards to this.

This focus on the paid working world, arguably, is still the core focus for much of these areas in the world of labour rights activism, where the unpaid or “unremunerated” work is another emphasis here. The reference to the “household” can include childcare, childrearing, homeschooling, feeding and clothing, running errands to and fro, etc. The list seems both large contingent on the roles bound within societies.

Work in community can be managing events and communal activities in which the families mostly maintained by the women are held together. In that, the interpersonal bonds in home extend outward into community in festivals, schools, community watch, care for the marginalized, and the like. No doubt, these are the contexts of women working without pay in community. It would be interesting to see if this work could remunerated in some manner.

As the net work of paid labour is taken over by women in the advanced industrial societies, the income built by women is a necessity in regards to not any particular home but “households of all types.” With this increase in women’s economic empowerment by and for themselves, this leaves the places previously held by men in different contexts. The men are less needed in these domains and, in fact, have been, since 1995 (and much farther back), evacuating the world of paid work and not logging those same hours into unpaid work.

“Women’s entrepreneurship and other self-reliant activities” “particularly in the informal sector” continue to become larger and larger hunks of the economic sector. Women have moved farther into the traditional domain of male-centric work- so-called. As it states, “In many countries, women are the majority of workers in non-standard work, such as temporary, casual, multiple part-time, contract and home-based employment.”

These forms of non-full-time work have been the paycheque of women for decades, even more so now, while, at the same time, and 25 years after the first Beijing Declaration; we’re seeing the development of whole generations of economically liberated women due to their own efforts built on the barriers and glass ceilings broken by women before them. To the spirit of this paragraph, there’s no explicit reason to think women will halt the progressive efforts for themselves, nor, as a personal note, should they.

(Updated 2020-07-07, only use the updated listing, please) Not all nations, organizations, societies, or individuals accept the proposals of the United Nations; one can find similar statements in other documents, conventions, declarations and so on, with the subsequent statements of equality or women’s rights, and the important days and campaigns devoted to the rights of women and girls too:


Strategic Aims

Celebratory Days

Guidelines and Campaigns

Women and Men Women’s Rights Campaigners


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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