How much would women earn if they were paid for their household work?

Women have been actively participating in the global labor market for a long time, but they still invest more time in performing household duties compared to men. This unequal distribution of tasks is observed both in developed economies and in countries that are in the process of development.

In one of the apartment buildings in Bishkek, a sign was found with the inscription “Dear women, clean the entrance lobbies.” It is still unknown why specifically women were called upon to perform this task. However, in our society, there is a phenomenon known as the “second shift”, where after their primary work, women have to single-handedly, often without help from their spouse or other household members, take care of all the household chores.

This labor remains unnoticed and unpaid. calculated the total volume and cost of all unpaid women’s work during the “second shift.” Spoiler: 23.5 billion som per month.

The National Statistical Committee, in its study, divided the day into 1,440 minutes and examined how the average Kyrgyz citizen allocates their time. The total number of respondents was 4,525 people. To conduct the research, NSC categorized the respondents by gender and territory.

How long do women work?

On average, each woman in Kyrgyzstan spends 4 hours and 50 minutes, or 145 hours per month, on household chores, while men spend 44 minutes per day, or 22 hours per month – which is 6.5 times less. This workload is referred to as the “second shift”, where women have to do household work in addition to their primary paid employment.

It is difficult to determine the exact value of a woman’s work, as women perform various household duties ranging from ironing, cleaning, and cooking to taking care of children and the elderly. For calculation purposes, we took the average salary of a Kyrgyzstan citizen, but the actual value of their work may be higher, considering the scale and diversity of tasks performed.

According to data from the National Statistical Committee, the average salary of a Kyrgyzstan citizen is 29,912 soms for 176 hours of work per month. Based on this, we can assume that the average hourly rate is 29,912 soms/176 hours = 170 soms per hour.

Now, to calculate the amount a woman should receive for working 145 hours per month, we can multiply the average hourly rate by the number of hours worked. Thus: 169.9 soms/hour * 145 hours = 24,650 soms.

Therefore, according to the provided average rate, a woman should receive approximately 24,650 soms for her household work in a month.


23.5 billion soms – this is the minimum volume of unpaid labor performed by women in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the data from the National Statistical Committee, there are 956 thousand working women living in Kyrgyzstan. It means that in May 2023, these women collectively spent 138.6 million hours per month or 17.3 million working days. The total value of this labor amounts to 23.5 billion soms per month.

What if we consider the average market value of women’s domestic work?

Considering that all the tasks performed by women at home can be done by other hired individuals, it makes sense to separate the labor and estimate its value separately. For example, childcare can be entrusted to a nanny, house cleaning and laundry to a housekeeper, cooking to a personal chef, and so on.

For calculations, we used average prices for services obtained from the website For example, the average cost of cleaning a 35 sq. m. house is around 1000 soms, while deep cleaning would cost around 3000 soms. If you require a personal chef for preparing lunch and dinner, it would cost you approximately 25,000 soms per month. Additionally, for childcare services, you would need to pay 200 soms per hour of work.

Taking into account the need for regular maintenance cleaning twice a week, deep cleaning twice a month, prepared lunches and dinners, as well as the daily need to hire a nanny, the total cost for these services would amount to approximately 55,000 soms per month.

It should be noted that the calculation does not take into account numerous other responsibilities such as grocery shopping, dishwashing, laundry, which women handle on a daily basis. Additionally, women bear the emotional burden, which can be referred to as the “third shift”, where they are responsible for managing all household matters: planning activities for children, organizing family trips, budget planning, making major and minor purchases, dealing with housing and utilities issues, and so on.

Women perform more household work than men worldwide

 Women disproportionately spend a significant portion of their time performing three-quarters of the unpaid work in the world: 11 billion hours per day.

“The second shift” hinders women from dedicating more personal time to other aspects of life.

Statistical data provided by the National Statistics Committee on time allocation indicates that women spend one hour less on leisure compared to men, as well as on educational activities and their primary work.

This reflects on their job choices, as they often prefer jobs located near their homes and without extensive business trips. Women’s wages also differ from those of the opposite sex. On average, women earn 25% less than men.

Is there paternity leave for men in Kyrgyzstan?

According to Article 137 of the Labor Code, the father of a child has the opportunity to take parental leave either fully or partially. However, there are no official statistics regarding the number of men who utilize this opportunity. In 2016, there were cases in Kyrgyzstan where employees in managerial positions in state institutions took maternity leave, which allowed them to retain their positions.

Oxfam, an international organization fighting poverty, published a study on the status of women. The report highlights the inequality in wage payment and unpaid labor responsibilities performed by women in different countries. On average, women worldwide earn wages that are 23% lower than men.

Researchers have also calculated the value of unpaid labor performed by women worldwide, which amounts to $10 trillion annually. This represents 13% of the global GDP.