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The UNRISD Project: The Political Economy of Paid and Unpaid Care: The South African country study Francie Lund University of KwaZulu-Natal Working with.

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Presentation on theme: "The UNRISD Project: The Political Economy of Paid and Unpaid Care: The South African country study Francie Lund University of KwaZulu-Natal Working with."— Presentation transcript:

1 The UNRISD Project: The Political Economy of Paid and Unpaid Care: The South African country study Francie Lund University of KwaZulu-Natal Working with Debbie Budlender Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) Presentation at WIDe Conference, Basel, June 2009

2 UNRISD project in South Africa Holds the potential for: – Making more visible the links between economic and social policies – Getting the best from combining quantitative and qualitative research – Bringing the totality of women’s work to the surface – Seeing the links between paid and unpaid care work

3 South Africa 48 million people Middle income country Steep poverty and inequality, with marked racial, gender-based and spatial features High unemployment rates Transition to democracy in 1994 after centuries of colonialism and then apartheid

4 Family/ household composition Of children under 17: 35 percent live with both mother and father 40 percent live with mother and not father 20 percent live with neither biological parent Of all households: 35 percent comprised of children and middle generation – ‘the norm’ 21 percent have three or more generations present

5 Some care patterns High rates of care by grannies and other older generation women Time Use Study 2001: Women in households with no children spent more time on child care than men in households in which their own children were resident

6 Burning problems and questions about care Apartheid legacy of disruption of family life High unemployment rates for women and for men, and especially for women Exceptionally high HIV&AIDS rates SO: What types of intervention could address the growing needs for care, especially of all children, and of middle generation adults with HIV&AIDS?

7 How do different agencies react and cope: households No evidence of withdrawal of girl children from school Extended families absorb kin children and sick people Positive role of pension for elderly people and other grants (cash transfers)

8 The state Unconditional and non-contributory cash transfers: Old Age Pension (OAP) and to a lesser extent the Disability Grant, allow care, buy care for younger sick people, shape care, enable younger women to go and seek work (and keep girl children in school for longer) Child Support Grant too small to be able to see impact on care ARV provision – now received by about people – is shaping care – for people with AIDS, by household members, and by Home Based Care workers; also by nurses and other paid carers

9 The market Nurses move from government to private sector – and emigrate to UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada Nurses from SADC and elsewhere immigrate to South Africa Growth in private market for low paid care Are domestic workers doing more skilled care work, with no recognition and compensation?

10 International agencies HIV&AIDS may be ‘crowding out’ funding for other health issues; do not specialise in care Much positive support for cash transfers – how long will this last? May last longer because of global financial crisis? Much focus on child headed households and trafficking – these are problems, but may not be priority in terms of intensity

11 NGOs and CBOs and FBOs Absolutely crucial formal and informal support, much of it unrecognised and unregistered Incoherent government policy as to where they fall in the ‘continuum of care’ and how to support them A wider range of NGOs, CBOs and FBOs now receive government subsidies to provide HBC. A minority have clear programmes and support structures for the HBCs (i.e. it can be done, but it isn’t).

12 Household-based care programmes Wide variety of interventions, mainly in departments of health, and of social development On the whole ungendered, with ‘community’ standing for women’s unpaid work ‘Continuum of care’ – ‘community’ has no clear policy for support – compare with MUCH poorer African countries such as Uganda and Tanzania where more active support for community workers HBC programme in public works programme: – Appalling rates of ‘pay’ (just over a dollar a day), and much less than men (and some women) get paid in non-care public works programmes (Budlender and Parenzee) – No clear planned progression into other forms of work – BUT it provides some women with opportunities to enter labour market as low (but better) paid care workers

13 In absence of access to health services, or to support from HBC, who does the caring? Unpaid care work by household members, overwhelmingly women, who pay out of pocket (often from state pensions) to do the care work better – – Transport to clinics, cleaning materials, special food, bed linen, medication They work with no informed support service, and with ill household member who often will not declare status and will not go for testing ARV therapy is likely to increase the numbers of those who go for voluntary testing

14 Effective measures to challenge gender inequality? Argue with figures (from UNRISD project): -How much more time is spent by women than men on unpaid care work: (246 cf 89 minutes a day) – somewhat influential -Unpaid care work as fraction of GDP : range between 11 percent and 30 percent, depending on method used median wage of all employees cf. wage of domestic worker) – more influential -How many jobs could be created – even more influential Analyse the totality of women’s work, and keep the distinctions between the categories very clear Paid and unpaid market work Formal and informal paid work Unpaid care work


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