For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Femmes et richesse : au-delà du PIB"

by Jany-Catrice, Florence; Méda, Dominique (2011)


Currently, the most commonly used measure for determining a country’s wealth is the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the monetary value of all goods and services produced in a given year. This indicator was invented at the close of World War II. Like all indicators, it came out of conventions, including that of not considering as part of national wealth activities carried out in the home, which for a very long time were conducted by women alone and whose distribution remains highly unbalanced between women and men. This paper first reviews the reasons—both implicit and explicit—for this exclusion. It then presents a way in which justice might be done to a number of claims by feminists, who consider it legitimate to measure at least the contribution made by household production to national wealth by arriving at a monetary estimate of it. After considering the various estimation methods up to the most recent ones proposed by the Stiglitz Commission and the OECD along with their advantages and drawbacks, it analyzes another way of going beyond the limitations inherent in GDP through the development of new indicators focused on social health while exploring ways to better account for inequalities between women and men.


Méda, Sociology, Political Economy, Wealth, Historiography, Gendered Labour, Women'S Work, OECD Countries, Social Health, Inequality, Domestic Labour


Women and Work, Méda

Links to Reference



How to contribute.