What is invisible labor? It's real and it hurts. Here's what to know. - Deepstash
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Invisible labour

Invisible work refers to work that is unpaid, unnoticed and unacknowledged. These tasks include cooking dinner, assisting children with homework, or making a dentist appointment.

Invisible labour also appears in other sectors. For example, doing unpaid work for the "exposure" that could lead to industry connections, or a task outside of your work duties that could give you access to better "opportunities." While it may be true, it is still invisible labour.


193 reads

Recognising invisible labour

We pay for what matters. When someone does unpaid and unacknowledged work, it can mean they don't matter in other ways.

  • One United Nations report found women do three out of every four hours of unpaid labour. It leads to reduced earnings.
  • When women get paid for their work, everyone benefits. Women's economic empowerment contributes to growing economies.
  • An analysis from Oxfam estimated unpaid care work done by women was worth at least $10.8 trillion annually.


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How people contribute unknowingly

People often don't even realise they're doing work, as is the case with invisible labour. It's true for an employee who has to purchase specific clothing and groom himself in a specific way to work at a specific retail job, and it's true for the mother who can't understand why she feels more exhausted than her partner.

However, once you spot invisible labour, you can't unsee it.


124 reads

Solving invisible labour

To solve invisible labour, people need to make it visible. Then they should do something about it.

  • On an individual scale, family members can talk about the division of work at home.
  • Paid parental leave or subsidised child care could help alleviate the unpaid work mothers currently do.


137 reads



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