This paper uses the Time Use Survey of Iran of 2008 and 2009 to estimate the monetary value of unpaid domestic work of urban housewives. The surveys recorded domestic work activities such as cooking and cleaning and general care of household members as well as care of children and their education. Using the market-based approach to estimate the monetary value of unpaid domestic work we collected data on the cost of buying in services for domestic work and for education of children from ‘nursing agencies’ and private education colleges in main cities of Iran in the summer of 2011 that were adjusted to obtain the 2008 and 2009 prices. The market value of domestic work of urban housewives was estimated to be US$25 billion in 2008 and US$29 billion in 2009. These were about 8.6 per cent of non-oil GDP in the same years. Our estimates complement other findings from around the world that confirm substantial contribution of housewives to the economy. These contributions have gone unrecorded and not compensated in most countries. At a minimum, housewives can be insured against basic contingencies of life such has health problems, poverty and disabilities and supported in old age. Our work and other studies do provide the economic and social arguments for costing and putting into practice the long overdue support for housewives; they have earned it!

Additional Metadata
Keywords Iran, care economy, domestic unpaid work, economic evaluation, feminism and gender studies, generations and regeneration, production and reproduction, social insurance, time-use
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Persistent URL
Series ISS Working Papers - General Series
Journal ISS Working Paper Series / General Series
Ghazi Tabatabaei, S.M, Mehri , N, & Messkoub, M. (2013). What is unpaid female labour worth? Evidence from the Time Use Studies of Iran in 2008 and 2009 (No. 562). ISS Working Paper Series / General Series (Vol. 562, pp. 1–33). Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from