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Transforming Dynamics in the Care Economy: A Call for Global Action

Why the call?

The UN Secretary General has convened a High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The panel that next meets in July prior to delivering an implementation plan in September 2016, has agreed six priority areas of which addressing the care economy is one.

The momentum generated by the High Level Panel provides a unique opportunity for those working on the care economy to collaborate on a joint statement on:

  • The recognition and value of care work as a contribution to development and as valuable and skilled activity in the economy
  • An assessment of what we know works to prioritise investment to both reduce the intensity and difficulty of care work and increase the quality of care
  • An assessment of what we know works to shift perceptions, norms and gender roles about care in order to achieve women’s economic empowerment that is optimised, shared across families and sustained across generations.

The panel’s focus will be on developing concrete policies and actions that have been shown to work and will reach low income, marginalised and disadvantaged women. Through this call for action IDS, IDRC and Oxfam are coordinating on a joint statement that draws on evidence from programmes and initiatives to show what works in addressing the challenges with regard to the care economy.

We invite you to:

  • Review the draft paper and send in your comments/feedback to
  • Fill in the questionnaire to provide evidence from your and/or your organisation’s work on policies, programmes and approaches that have been successful in addressing the challenges with regard to the care economy (by 31 May 2016).
  • Join our online consultative sessions in early June where a synthesis of this evidence and a revised draft of the joint statement will be presented and discussed – details available soon 

What next?

The evidence gathered as part of this process will be collated and synthesised for inclusion (as relevant) within the joint statement paper. Your contribution and/or your organisation’s contribution will be acknowledged as joint sponsors of the paper, along with IDS, IDRC and Oxfam. The paper will be presented to Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, member of the High Level Panel, as part of her consultation exercise prior to the July meeting. Our aim is to use that process to galvanise discussion around transforming the dynamics in the care economy.

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