Balancing the Burden? Desk Review of Women’s Time Poverty and Infrastructure in Asia and the Pacific

Publication | December 2015

Around the world, women do more work than men because of gender divisions of labor that cause most of the burden of housework and care work to fall on women and girls.

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This desk review explores the links between infrastructure development and women’s time poverty in Asia and the Pacific by drawing on time-use data and reviewing existing research and evidence from impact evaluations.

Three questions are asked:

  • What contribution does infrastructure make in reducing women’s time poverty, and how is this being recorded?
  • Are women’s time savings resulting from increased access to infrastructure used for productive work that also reduces consumption poverty?
  • Can infrastructure projects more effectively reduce both time and consumption poverty for women?

The review finds that basic infrastructure has the potential to reduce the time spent on housework and care work and influence the gender division of labor. However, infrastructure projects rarely include interventions to address this directly, even when reducing time burdens is a slated aim of the project.


  • Introduction
  • Time Use and Time Poverty
  • Time Use in Asia and the Pacific
  • Impact of Infrastructure on Women’s Time Poverty in Asia and the Pacific
  • Experience from Other Regions
  • Factors That Enhance Time-Saving Benefits and Balance Time Allocation for Women
  • Considering Time Poverty in Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Conclusion
  • Appendixes

Additional Details

  • ADB and Infrastructure
  • Gender Equality
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • 52
  • 8.5 x 11
  • RPT157791
  • 978-92-9257-169-6 (print)
  • 978-92-9257-170-2 (electronic)

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