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Care Work, Labour Markets, and Gender Equality: Issues and Policies Naomi Cassirer Conditions of Work and Employment Programme International Labour Organization.

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Presentation on theme: "Care Work, Labour Markets, and Gender Equality: Issues and Policies Naomi Cassirer Conditions of Work and Employment Programme International Labour Organization."— Presentation transcript:

1 Care Work, Labour Markets, and Gender Equality: Issues and Policies Naomi Cassirer Conditions of Work and Employment Programme International Labour Organization World Bank, Feb 25, 2009

2 Conflict between Paid and Unpaid work Conflict between paid and unpaid work is increasing in both industrialized and developing nations Women and girls are particularly affected; many must make trade offs between economic activities and unpaid care activities Policies and measures to address work-family conflict are underdeveloped in most countries Costs of inaction are great for both care and employment

3 Paid and Unpaid Work Time Inputs Time for economic activities  Time for unpaid family responsibilities  Factors affecting whether time for economic activities competes with time demands of unpaid family responsibilities -Earnings -Location (migration) -Hours of work -leave -flexibility -transport time -can combine with childcare   Factors affecting whether time for family responsibilities competes with time demands of economic activities -number of children, ill, elder -Number/time of unpaid helpers -paid services, technology to help with unpaid work (daycare, domestic help, prepared food, appliances) -availability of public services, community supports  Outputs Income/goods  Care of family

4 Policy Framework for Addressing Paid/Unpaid Work Enable workers with family responsibilities (WFR) to exercise right to free choice of employment Take account of their needs – in terms and conditions of employment – in social security – in community planning Develop or promote community services (childcare, family services, etc) Promote information, education, broader public understanding Enable integration and re-entry of WFR in LF -ILO Convention on Workers with Family Responsibilities, C156

5 Work-Family Policies in Practice Selected employment policies and measures: How are countries faring? In general; marked shortcomings, e.g., in: Childcare and other family services (elderly/ill/disabled care, services to reduce domestic tasks) Terms and Conditions of Employment – Maternity Protection (maternity leave, health protection, cash and medical benefits, employment protection and non-discrimination, breastfeeding breaks) – Leave policies (maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave, emergency family leave, retraining/reintegration) – Working time policies

6 Lack of Policy Supports: Individual Reconciliation Strategies Economic ActivitiesCare  Withdraw from LF  Limit time in economic activities  Limit geographic scope of economic activities  Informal employment  Absences  Decrease fertility  Leave children in self-care  Take children to work (CL)  Deploy older children to care (CL)  Enlist relatives  Domestic workers Long working hours (economic + unpaid care) Implications for broad social and economic goals

7 Paid Care Work: Some Considerations Employment in care services has proliferated in recent decades Paid caregivers are predominantly women Jobs providing care services are systematically underpaid and undervalued using objective job evaluation measures. Domestic workers comprise large proportions of all female employment in many developing countries, but these workers often lack access to basic labour rights and protections. An estimated 94.5 million women are migrant workers, many of whom provide care services in health, childcare and domestic services, filling in the policy gaps of destination countries. Policy debate, recognizing and valuing care work on par with other types of paid work, legislation, regulation and enforcement are prerequisites to Decent Work for paid care.


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