Women everywhere retain the primary responsibility for household work. Even when they have economic responsibilities within and outside the home, women and girls are usually allocated the large majority of household tasks by virtue of their role in society. This work is generally neither regulated nor protected by the law and does not involve remuneration.
In most countries, a housewife has no individual right to a pension, although in some countries it is possible to make voluntary pension contributions. If the housewife is married, she generally has the right to the social benefits of her working husband (revertible pension, family allowances, health assistance). The growing number of female-headed households, in combination with limited access to profitable work and to social security schemes, is a major reason for the " feminization of poverty ".
→ see also Division of labour, Economic activity, Female-headed households and Social security/social protection
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