Care responsibilities and unpaid care work

From a human rights perspective, social protection programmes should recognize the role of women as caregivers and the burden that this role can create. For example, when women are made responsible for complying with conditions attached to participation in a conditional cash transfer (CCT) programme (for example, taking children to medical check-ups or ensuring they go to school) or when they are required to travel (sometimes long distances) to collect the benefits or to participate in various stages of the programme, their domestic unpaid workload increases. If this is not expressly addressed in the programme design, the increased burden on women may further undermine their own welfare disincentivizing them from participating in the programme.

Sometimes, programmes that have not been designed with women’s care responsibilities in mind can even have a detrimental impact on girls’ schooling. For example, when a programme increases the time the mother spends away from home, girls are then required to assume their motherss responsibilities such as cooking or collecting water.

Photo credit: “Indian Family Waiting on the Bus” by Trey Ratcliff (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).

Expert Commentaries

Enabling Aspirations, Realizing Rights: Social Protection for Adolescent Girls

Adolescent girls’ rights and their power to drive social change and achieve inclusive are crucial to sustainable human development. This recognition comes at a time of increased global interest in understanding and offering solutions to the challenges girls face as they enter the second decade of their lives. Aspirations and struggles frequently associated with being […]

Transformative Approaches to Care Responsibilities: Overcoming Obstacles to the Meaningful Participation of Women

The World Bank (WB) has called economic participation—that is, participation in the labour force—smart economics. Not all forms of participation in public life are smart economics according to the WB, though. The Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) 2012 values women’s voice in society and their political participation for themselves—a welcome (albeit limited) departure from their […]

Principles

Family and child benefits

Child and family benefits, in cash and in kind, play a particularly important role in realizing children’s rights and addressing their needs, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society. Evidence from many parts of the world demonstrates that social protection benefits have led to a marked improvement in children’s nutritional status. Cash transfer programmes […]

Resources

Challenges in Long-Term Care of the Elderly in Central and Eastern Europe

Long-term care of the elderly is an imminent policy issue for countries facing profound demographic transformations due to ageing. Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries face complex challenges in securing accessible, adequate and sustainable long-term care. While CEE countries anticipate a growing number of elderly persons in need of long-term care as a consequence of […]

Long-Term Care of Older Persons in India

Older persons, particularly the oldest-old, are the fastest growing population segment in India and many of them require or will require long-term care in the future. The paper discusses policies on population ageing in India, such as the National Policy on Older Persons and the National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly. It further […]

Health workforce: A global supply chain approach (ESS Working Paper No. 55)

Moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a sufficient number of workers producing and delivering health care such as doctors and nurses but also workers in other occupations, e.g. those concerned with administration or maintaining health facilities. However, currently there is a significant workforce shortage which […]

Policy Innovations for Transformative Change: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

World leaders have committed to transform our world and to leave no one behind in the quest for sustainable development. What needs to happen now to enable the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to deliver on its transformative promise? Which policies and practices will lead to social, economic and ecological justice? Research presented in this […]

Financial Support for Single Parents in Caring for their Children: Private child support and social assistance

Public assistance in the Caribbean generally does not include special provisions for sole parents. Instead, such families—if they are fortunate—receive support through the limited general public assistance schemes.  The amount of benefits in Caribbean countries is likely to be lower than in developed countries in both absolute and relative terms. This short paper examines international […]

Women at Work: Trends 2016

This report provides the latest ILO data on women’s position in labour markets, examines the factors behind these trends and explores the policy drivers for transformative change. The report provides a picture of where women stand today in the world of work and how they have progressed over the past 20 years. It examines the […]

Social Protection and Care in the Sustainable Development Goals

Care and social protection are both explicitly mentioned in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the Goals fall short of addressing how gendered power relations can be an impediment to women being able to fully enjoy their human rights. Valeria Esquivel from UNRISD discusses how social protection can contribute to gender equality under the new […]

Redistributing Unpaid Care and Sustaining Quality Care Services: A prerequisite for gender equality

The centrality of care to sustainable development and its relevance for gender equality are now widely recognized by the global community. In “Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”—also referred to as “Agenda 2030” —unpaid care appears as one of the targets under Sustainable Development Goal 5 (“Achieve gender equality and empower all […]

Gender Equality, Child Development and Job Creation: How to reap the ‘triple dividend’ from early childhood education and care services

This brief synthesizes research findings, analysis and policy recommendations for realizing the triple dividend from early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. ECEC services have come to occupy an important place on the global policy agenda. While some developed countries have long invested in this area, a growing number of developing countries are following suit. […]

Cash transfer programmes, poverty reduction and empowerment of women in South Africa

Cash transfer programmes have been implemented in many countries as a key component of their national social protection floors and because these programmes provide a modest but regular income to poor households, they have the potential to reduce poverty and to enhance women’s economic empowerment. However, there have been concerns that the design of some […]