Costa Rica is at the end of the demographic transition with an insufficient educational profile to meet the demands of the market. The benefits of the first demographic dividend were not materialize due to the lack of public policies that did not promote better skills for the new generations that will have to support an aging population. In this context, a potential opportunity arises: low female labor force participation poses a scope for accelerating economic growth through greater incorporation of women into the market. This opportunity known as gender dividend, only materialize if public policies reduce the barriers that limit a greater female participation. Despite the rapid growth of the participation rate of women in the market, in the last five years a stagnation of this indicator is observed, which suggests that factors such as care and unpaid work limit the participation of women on the market.
Gender inequality in Costa Rica is evident: low female political participation, women as the main responsible for care and policies do not encourage parental responsibility. Some efforts such as childcare networks intend to reduce female unpaid work. However, many of these programs have low coverage and also are target only for people on poverty.
In this article I analyze gender inequality on market and unpaid production using the methodology developed by international Counting Women's Work and the project National Transfer Accounts. Also, per capita profiles of key domestic activities by age and sex were are analyzed.