Hesperian Health Guides

Hesperian Health Guides

Homeworkers work more hours

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HealthWiki > Workers' Guide to Health and Safety > Chapter 20: Doing factory work at home > Homeworkers work more hours


Women who work at home do more than just factory work. They cook, take care of children or family members, buy or collect food, water and fuel, clean, and do other tasks. Doing factory work while caring for their homes and families means women work longer hours, spread out over a longer period in the day. They usually work more hours than they would at a factory.

No matter where you do the work, too much work always leads to more injuries, health problems, stress-related illnesses, poor nutrition, and other problems.

To reduce the impact of working double on women’s health, find ways for the whole family, especially men, to take part in caring for the home and family. Caring for the home is a set of skills men and boys can learn.

The whole family put to work

When work is moved into the home, the whole family is affected. One person may bring the work home, but often the whole family does the work, including the children, because every piece made means more money is earned. Sometimes the whole family must help in order to meet a production quota that is impossible for one worker to meet alone. Work may go late into the night, with no extra pay for the long hours worked by the family.

a woman speaking.
I try to give my children money to help me. I want them to know that work should be paid fairly, but when my pay is low, I cannot give them anything!