There is growing pressure on social protection systems to adjust to a changing world of work and to harness the opportunities presented looking forward. The time is ripe to build on learning to date to deliver social protection that adequately addresses gender-related contingencies over the course of the life cycle and, in conjunction with wider labour and social policy, gender inequalities in the world of work. Social protection policy options set out in this paper provide examples of how this can be achieved in practice.
It is striking to me how quickly the narrative changed, from being told that the COVID-19 crisis affects everyone equally to evidence appearing all over on how different groups and communities around the world are impacted so much worse. More than 70 per cent of frontline healthcare staff are women, meaning they are more at risk. There is an increased burden of unpaid domestic and care work disproportionately shouldered by women, and they are facing increased domestic violence in lockdown.
This brief presents emerging evidence on the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on the care economy. Complementing a separate UN Women brief, “Addressing the Economic Fallout of COVID-19”, this brief highlights key measures needed to address the increase in unpaid care work as a result of the pandemic, ensure adequate compensation and decent working conditions for paid care workers and enable the participation of paid and unpaid caregivers in the policy decisions that affect them.
This Spotlight on the SDGs paper is being released in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to being a health crisis unlike any other in recent history, the pandemic is also an economic and social crisis. Families — and women within them — are juggling an increase in unpaid care work as well as losses in income and paid work.
In response to the pandemic, sub-Saharan African countries have instituted new programmes or adjusted the existing schemes. They are featured in this compilation. They have paid attention to initiatives directed at persons working in the informal economy; vulnerable groups; and women who are disproportionally affected by the crisis due to their care responsibilities and are overrepresented in informal employment. International, non-African measures are mentioned because of their relevance to sub-Saharan Africa context and/or innovative nature.
This paper seeks to examine how childcare impacts upon women’s economic engagement in India, Nepal, Tanzania, and Rwanda. In delineating the linkages between childcare, paid work, and other tasks that women carry out within and outside the house, this paper privileges women’s own perceptions of childcare as ‘work’, and the extent to which they see this as a tension between women’s caregiving role and their income-generating role.