Women in Moldova have less free time than men

Jun 24, 2014

Time use by women and men in Moldova. Photo: RT Design

In Moldova, women do most of the unpaid work which annual value is equal to that of a Gross Domestic Product. Being as educated as men, women spend twice as much time for household work, participate more often in volunteering activities and have less time for leisure.

These are only a few findings of the statistical survey on Time Use in the Republic of Moldova, carried out by the National Bureau of Statistics within the Joint UN Project on Strengthening the National Statistical System, with the financial support of UNDP, UN Women and the Government of Sweden.

The survey has been conducted during a 12 months period with over ten thousand respondents having participated in the survey. Based on its results, specialists of Expert-Grup think tank developed ten analytical briefs which explain the lifestyle of women and men based on the ways they spend their time. The data and experts’ recommendations can be useful for the Government in the implementation of actions aimed to improve life quality in the Republic of Moldova.

More conclusions on the analytical briefs:

Importance of unpaid work in Moldova
•    Moldovans spend 3.9 hours per day for unpaid work.
•    Unpaid work is mostly done by women.
•    Women are paid only for three out of ten minutes worked, while men are paid for five minutes.
•    Young people from villages spend twice as much time for household work than youth in towns.

Time spent by young Moldovans for school studies

•    Girls are studying 18 minutes per day more than boys.
•    Girls start doing their homework after 14:00, while boys after 16:00.
•    In towns, girls study one hour per day more than boys.

What is the link between the health condition and lifestyle of Moldovans?

•    Each sixth woman and each eighth man assess their health condition as bad and very bad.
•    One fifth of the population of the Republic of Moldova aged 10 years and over does sports and outdoor activities for about two hours per day.
•    Sport activities are practiced by each third town resident and each eighth village inhabitant.
•    Healthy people spend three times more time for active physical exercises than people with a worse health condition.

Time use by Moldovan parents for taking care of their children

•    Twice as much mothers than fathers are daily involved in child care activities.
•    Six out of ten mothers spend two hours per day to wash, feed and dress their children, and only two out of ten fathers do similar activities for an hour a day.
•    Parents living in villages and those with lower income spend less time for their children care activities.
•    Both mothers and fathers spend one hour per day with their children to do homework. The same time is spent daily by parents for discussions, reading and playing with their children.

Social life and entertainment in Moldova

•    Moldovans spend half an hour a day for paying and receiving visits, as much as Swedes and Poles, and have breaks during the day for about fifteen minutes, as much as British and Germans.
•    Moldovan men spend daily half an hour more than women for social, cultural and entertainment activities.
•    Only 0.2% of Moldovans living in rural area and 0.45 of town residents go to theatres and cinemas.
•    People with more advanced education and those with higher income spend less time for social and entertainment activities.

How much time do Moldovans spend travelling?
•    In comparison with Slovenians, Spanish and Latvians, Moldovans spend the same 20 minutes a day for travelling from/to their work and only fifteen minutes travel for the purpose of socializing and entertainment.
•    Moldovan men travel fifteen minutes a day more than women.
•    Rural area inhabitants spend twice more time travelling for shopping and services and 1.3 times more time for commuting from/to their workplace.

How much time do Moldovans spend for various types of transport?
•    Eight out of ten women and nine out of ten men are travelling daily for certain purposes spending 1.4 hours.
•    Moldovan women spend two thirds of their daily travel walking and fifteen minutes of this time they travel by public transport.
•    Men spend three times more time for travels by car than women.
•    Taxi services are more often used by women and town residents.
•    Men and rural area inhabitants travel more often by train than other categories of population.

How fond are Moldovans of reading?
•    Moldovans are reading about 17 minutes a day, or 7 minutes less than EU states citizens.
•    Moldovans allocate four minutes a day for reading printed books, as much as Spanish, Slovenians or Italians.
•    Online reading is the most popular form of Moldovan’s reading. For it we spend about 10 minutes a day.
•    Compared to women, Moldovan men spend 10% more time for self informing via computer and 8% less time for book reading.
•    Town dwellers allocate twice as much time for reading than rural inhabitants (23 and, respectively, 12 minutes a day).
•    Moldovans younger than 34 years prefer to mostly read via computer, and people older than 35 years choose to read traditional books and periodicals.

Time use by people with disabilities
•    The employment rate for people with disabilities is more than 3 times less than the average employment rate.
•    Employment rate for men and women with disabilities is almost the same (10.3% and 10.9%), but these men work two hours per day less than women.
•    People with disabilities allocate 14% less time for paid work.
•    People with disabilities travel by bus and minibus as much time as people without disabilities, but two and five times less by trolleybus and, respectively, by train.
•    Persons with disabilities from the rural area allocate twice less time for commercial and administrative services.

How popular are volunteering and participatory activities among Moldovans?
•    Compared to Italians and Spanish, Moldovans spend twice or even three times more time for volunteer support to other households and five times less for formal volunteering for/via organisations.
•    One out of ten Moldovans does volunteering as support without payment for other households and only one out of five hundred Moldovans volunteers through an organisation.
•    Each sixth inhabitant of rural area and each seventh town dweller do some volunteering activities.
•    Each sixth woman and each ninth man in the Republic of Moldova spend more than 2 hours per day for volunteering and participatory activities.
•    People with low incomes, which practice volunteering, allocate 40% more time for such activities than people with higher incomes.

According to General Director of the National Bureau of Statistics, Lucia Spoiala, gender-sensitive indicators are useful for elaboration of efficient policies aimed to reduce the inequalities between women and men. “When figures indicate some differences, the gender perspective becomes more evident. Thus, statistics can be successfully used to take the most appropriate decisions”, said Lucia Spoiala.

UN Resident Coordinator in Moldova Nicola Harrington-Buhay pointed to the value, both for policy makers as well as individuals, of having concrete information of how people spend their time. “The time use survey reveals important differences between men and women, between younger and older women and between those from urban and rural areas. Women in Moldova spend almost twice as much time as men on unpaid work – which may be a concerted decision, but has implications for many other aspects of their lives. We hope the data provided by the survey will help shape better policies and decisions that foster greater equality in the opportunities open to both women and men”.

The Joint UN Project, in the framework of which the Time Use Survey has been conducted, helps to strengthen the national statistical system through improvement of collection, dissemination and use of socio-economic statistical information taking into consideration national necessities and through overall harmonisation of official statistics with international standards.

For more information please contact:

Aurelia Spataru, Project Manager, UN Project on Strengthening the National Statistical System, aurelia.spataru@undp.org, mob. 069099319

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