Working women now account for nearly 40% of global GDP in Andalucía

Female participation in the labour force is higher than it has ever been before.
Female participation in the labour force is higher than it has ever been before. / SUR
  • A study carried out by the Junta de Andalucía's Ministry of Economy shows that women's contribution to the wealth of the region has doubled since 1981

A study by the Junta de Andalucía's Ministry of Economy has concluded that working women doubled the growth of GDP in the region between 1981 and 2017. The study showed that women contribute 39 per cent of overall GDP in Andalucía (62.77 billion euros), compared with 21.1 per cent in the 1980s. At present, the GDP of Andalucía is around 155.21 billion euros.

The study used figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Institute of Cartography and Statistics of Andalucía (ICAE). It took as a starting point the increase in women's employment since the 1980s, how this has contributed to the growth of GDP in the region, and what percentage of that growth can be attributed to working women.

Figures for 1981 show that 19.6 per cent of women in Andalucía had jobs, and now the figure is 50.5 per cent. This is still considerably lower than men (63.9 per cent), but the gap is narrowing because 36 years ago 72.4 per cent of men in Andalucía were working. It should be taken into account that at that time only 22.5 per cent of the active population was female, and now the figure has risen to 43.1 per cent of the total. Nearly one million more women are working now than four decades ago.

From this, the analysis went on to look at men's and women's productivity per hour in different sectors, to estimate their contribution to the generation of gross added value, depending on the total number of hours worked. The document from the ministry explains that the analysts took into account the number of people working, the length of the working day (full or part time), and the average number of hours worked per week in each sector, and differentiated all these variables according to gender.

These calculations showed that the GDP attributable to women's work rose to 62.77 billion euros in Andalucía in 2017, which is 39 per cent of global GDP, compared with 61 per cent by men. This is 17.9 per cent higher than in 1981, when women's employment accounted for barely one-fifth of the total (21.1 per cent).

“This means that between 1981 and 2017, the GDP of Andalucía has accumulated and grown in real terms by 150.6 per cent. The percentage attributable to working women has more than doubled,” says the report.

Sources at the ministry say the figures show that the 2.6 per cent real growth in GDP in Andalucía in these 36 years has been sustained by women. Their contribution has grown by an annual rate of 4.4 per cent, compared with 1.9 per cent for men. The analysis also warns that these figures underestimate the real contribution of women to economic activity, because GDP does not take into account unpaid work they carry out.

The report says women who wish to work should be encouraged to do so, and efforts should be made to make more full-time work available to them. At present, 71.6 per cent of part-time jobs are done by women.