In an ordinary workweek, anyone completes a maximum of 40 hours. However, in practice, you – like many other Costa Ricans – are likely to exceed that number. In an extreme case, can you imagine spending more than double these hours per week at your job, without being economically recognized for its worth?
Although it may seem crazy, in Costa Rica there are women who have hours of unpaid domestic work as strenuous as the one described. They spend almost one hundred hours a week cooking, cleaning, washing, running errands, taking care of children, family members and any other household job without receiving the merit that their work means to sustain the economy of their own home and of the entire country.
These exhausting cases are registered primarily in rural areas but show how the home responsibilities and caring of people are resting heavily on the shoulders of women.
A data investigation done by La Data Cuenta found, at least, twenty-one women living under these tiring circumstances in the country. These cases emerged as part of an analysis run over the database of the National Survey of Time Use, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses, (INEC), in 2017.
During the application of the National Survey of Time Use were interviewed 4,111 women. One third said unpaid domestic work consumes them from 48 to 95 hours per week, regardless of whether they have a job outside the home.
The Survey also consulted 3,139 men, only the 1.5% of them assured to work at home more than 48 hours per week, which shows the unequal distribution of domestic and care tasks because of entrenched gender stereotypes.