National survey on unpaid labour begins tomorrow

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 20 Apr 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: A survey on unpaid labour provided by housewives or “household managers” will include gathering information on househusbands as well. 

Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the survey would find out the number of people providing unpaid labour according to gender and age, besides putting a monetary value to the unpaid labour. 

The survey will begin tomorrow and is expected to conclude in June. 

“They may not work in an office or contribute directly to the gross national product (GNP) of the country, but nonetheless, their contributions in nurturing our younger generation and creating a conducive environment within the homes do have an effect on development,” she told reporters after opening Batu Wanita Umno division meeting. 

Shahrizat said about 3.8 million of the 11.4 million women between ages 15 and 64 were not part of the national labour force.  

Of this number, about 2.79 million are housewives or “household managers”. 

“Although they are not part of the national labour force, they contribute significantly towards the prosperity of the country through their work at home and in voluntary work,” she said. 


“Studies abroad showed that unpaid labour carries a high value. In Japan, unpaid labour is said to be about 15% of GNP, while South Korea records 30% and in Australia, 54%,” she said. 


However, she cautioned that the findings of the study would not lead to the inclusion of unpaid labour in the GNP. 


She urged housewives to co-operate in the survey when approached by the officers from the Statistics Department.  

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