Impacts of unpaid domestic and care work on the teaching career at the Universidad del Rosario.

Project: Research Project

Project Details


The investigations that cover gender relations in higher education have realized that, despite the structural change that the insertion of women in this field implied, in the academy a series of obstacles persist that limit the integration and development of women on equal terms with men.

Although it is true that women currently represent a significant percentage of the university population, it is also true that there is a 'pyramidal effect' that shows that this number decreases as you go up the training scale.

Thus, the largest number of women are in the lowest levels of training (Méndez and Rojas, 2014).

According to the data provided by the Labor Observatory for Education of the Ministry of Education, between 2001 and 2018, 2,063,899 women and 1,700,585 men graduated. For the same interval, 1,905 women and 3,036 men graduated from doctorates.

Now then, with respect to the place that women occupy in the formative work of education, it is found that as one ascends in the professorial scale, they descend in the occupation of teaching, research and professorship positions ( Martínez, et al., 2018, page 180).

While for infant and primary school teachers women represent a majority and, in this sense, this sector of education could be considered feminized (Montoya, 2009; Silva, 2016), in university teaching women are a minority.

According to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), women make up the bulk of the teaching staff at the preschool (95.7%) and basic primary (77.2%) levels.

Their participation decreases as the level of training increases, so that their participation in the teaching body at the basic secondary level is 52.5% and on average it is 45.7% (DANE, EDUC 2018).

According to the National Higher Education Information System (SNIES), by 2018, 38% of the faculty of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Colombia were made up of women.

These percentage differences are related, following Acker (1995), with the way in which gender stereotypes affect the development of the teaching career. This indicates that the academy exhibits gender biases.

Moncayo and Zuluaga (2015) identify the responsibilities related to the family/home, the social role of motherhood and the double shift as some of the main obstacles encountered by female academics in the development of their professional lives.

The incidence of social gender stereotypes in the modeling of expectations, behaviors and institutional environments constitute factors that negatively affect the academic career of women.

The persistence of the imaginary that exclusively associates women with reproductive and care work has an impact on their entry, permanence, and advancement in the academic world and even allows these roles in their domestic life to be reflected in the tasks they must perform take on your workplace.

Thus, while men only have to fulfill their role as providers, women enter the productive-labor world without separating themselves from the duties of their reproductive role (Hernández, García and Sánchez, 2004, p. 109).

These socio-cultural norms not only create an overload for women (who work inside and outside the home), but also make professional development possible for men to the same extent that they limit that of women.

In Colombia, according to the National Survey on the Use of Time (ENUT), "women spend an average of 7 hours 14 minutes on unpaid domestic and care work, while men spend less than 4 hours on these tasks" (DANE, 2018). The distribution and use of time emerges as an element that generates a differential impact by sex in men and women on their professional and work life.

It is understood, then, that women cannot be productive in academia -and in the world of work in general- in the same way and at the same rates that men do, because they must assume additional loads and responsibilities in the workplace at home.

Added to this is the influence that gender stereotypes have on access to positions of power, leadership, and decision-making in academia.

Georgeta Ion, María Durán and María Bernabeu (2013) highlight the existence of an organizational culture in universities that has been and continues to be eminently masculine.

The authors affirm that the inclusion of women in the academy did not bring about a transformation of the university structure, which was thought around a male subject: "(...) if they want to access and remain in a position, [women] must immerse themselves in a university culture that has not been created from the feminine and, therefore, in which their needs and tastes may not have been considered at all” (Ion, Durán and Bernabeu, 2013, p. 133).

The HEIs respond to a logic of long tradition that originates with an educational model thinking from the masculine and structured without necessarily taking women into account.

In this way, the time for preparing classes, writing, researching, attending meetings, etc., is usually in tension with the time necessary to take care of the children, the family and to be aware of the needs of the home.

In this way, the time for preparing classes, writing, researching, attending meetings, etc., is usually in tension with the time necessary to take care of the children, the family and to be aware of the needs of the home.

This sociocultural tension between the academy and female obligations works in favor of men (Moncayo and Pinzón, 2013), since they are the ones who, given the conditions and sufficient time, can more easily access, for example, promotions, promotions, leadership positions and better salary compensation.

With this, it is recognized that the sexual division of labor affects the development of the teaching career of men and women in a different way according to social gender stereotypes.

Taking this problem as a starting point, the present research has as a general objective to identify and analyze the impact depending on the sex/gender of domestic work and unpaid care by the professors of the Universidad del Rosario in their career professorial.

Thus, the aim is to answer the question: what is the gender impact of the domestic workload and unpaid care work on the teaching career at the Universidad del Rosario? This, through four specific objectives: a) identify the load of domestic work and unpaid care of professors and career professors at the Universidad del Rosario; b) determine the aspects of the professorial career (teaching, research and extension) on which the impacts of the domestic workload and unpaid care of professors of the Universidad del Rosario are projected; c) identify the strategies used by career professors at the Universidad del Rosario to harmonize their unpaid care and domestic workload with their teaching career, and d) analyze whether the unpaid care and domestic workload they have position the professors and career professors of the Universidad del Rosario contribute to producing or maintaining gender gaps.
Effective start/end date1/1/2012/31/22

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Main Funding Source

  • Installed Capacity (Academic Unit)


  • Bogotá D.C.


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