Unpaid domestic work comprises the labour involved in maintaining living spaces, buying and transforming the commodities used in the family, supplementing services provided to family members by the public and private sectors (e.g. health, education, transport, administration), and managing social and personal relationships. To this, which represents the great bulk of unpaid work, the care of people has to be added. 1 By revealing the quantity of unpaid work we bring out: (1) the extent and persistence of major inequalities between men and women in the distribution of time, activities, economic resources and social responsibilities; (2) a necessary and dynamic component of the economic system represented by the process of social reproduction of the population and of the working population in particular. 2 Living conditions, however defined and measured, represent a state within the process of social reproduction.