Informal employment, unpaid care work, and health status in Spanish-speaking Central American countries: a gender-based approach

María Lopez-Ruiz, Fernando G. Benavides, Alejandra Vives, Lucía Artazcoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To assess the relationship between paid work, family characteristics and health status in Central American workers; and to examine whether patterns of association differ by gender and informal or formal employment. Methods: Cross-sectional study of 8680 non-agricultural workers, based on the First Central American Survey of Working Conditions and Health (2011). Main explicative variables were paid working hours, marital status, caring for children, and caring for people with functional diversity or ill. Using Poisson regression models, adjusted prevalence ratios of poor self-perceived and mental health were calculated by sex and social security coverage (proxy of informal employment). Results: A clear pattern of association was observed for women in informal employment who were previously married, had care responsibilities, long working hours, or part-time work for both self-perceived and mental health. No other patterns were found. Conclusions: Our results show health inequalities related to unpaid care work and paid work that depend on the interaction between gender and informal employment. To reduce these inequalities suitable policies should consider both the labor (increasing social security coverage) and domestic spheres (co-responsibility of care).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 29 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Care
  • Central America
  • Family characteristics
  • Gender
  • Informal employment
  • Social factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)

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