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The COVID-19 pandemic has turned many people’s lives into a delicate balancing act between responsibilities at home and work as full-time caregivers. Between a sharp uptick in unpaid care and domestic workjob loss, unemployment, and the closure of schools and childcare centers, challenges for women have only become harder. In the coming years, unpaid care work will increase, threatening many women’s ability to continue working or return to the workforce altogether. 

Over the next five years, alongside our partners and building on our successful track record of impactful advocacy, we're doubling down our efforts to advance economic rights and justice, with a  focus on the care economy, at
WHA75, the G7, UNGA77, and during the Global Day of Action for Care

Creating communities and workplaces that value women's work and the value of working women is possible, but only if we work together. Last year, we joined the
Global Alliance for Care, a multi-actor, co-creative space where governments, international institutions, the private sector, academia, philanthropies, youth, and civil society exchange experiences and best practices to globally advance the care work agenda. The initiative seeks to reduce inequalities and promote a cultural transformation by guaranteeing the recognition, reduction, remuneration, and redistribution of care work among all co-responsible actors.

The decisions we make today in support of care systems that make career paths more compatible with life paths will extend far beyond the office, the factory, or the workspace. Girls and women, in all their intersecting identities, must have tangible control over their lives and their futures — ensuring their ability to participate equally in the economy is essential to creating a healthier, more gender-equal world for all. 

Opinion: Valuing Women's Work and the Value of Working Women
This week, we teamed up with the Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, Claudia Nayibe López Hernández to highlight concrete actions that governments, businesses, and civil society can take to address gender imbalances as a result of unpaid care work. These actions include:
1. Implementing care-friendly and gender-responsive work and social policies.

2. Focusing on social norm change and the role that men play in challenging unjust norms.

3. Developing time- and energy-saving innovations in infrastructure and technology to reduce the burden of unpaid care work and lighten the load of household responsibilities.

4. Investing in learning tools and advocacy programs through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Read our World Economic Forum op-ed to learn more about how we can work together across sectors to transform gender equality from shared aspiration to global reality. 

READ THE FULL OP-ED >>
Key Resources to Take Action 
Towards the Construction of Comprehensive Care Systems in Latin America and the Caribbean: Elements for Implementation
 
This report, developed by UN Women, underscores the benefits of investing in care, including the advancement of women's rights, the elimination of social inequalities, and the achievement of gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Read the report in English or Spanish
Care Policy Scorecard: A Tool for Assessing Country Progress Towards an Enabling Policy Environment on Care 
 
The Care Policy Scorecard, developed by Oxfam and partners, provides a practical tool to assess and track the extent to which government policies related to care are adopted, budgeted for, and implemented, and the extent to which they have a transformative effect on care. 
Citizens Call for a Gender-Equal World: A Roadmap for Action
 
This report, developed by Focus 2030 and Women Deliver, finds that the global public believes that the unequal distribution of unpaid care work and domestic responsibilities between women and men is one of the most significant drivers of gender inequality around the world. 
Delivered by Women, Led by Men: A Gender and Equity Analysis of the Global Health and Social Workforce 

This report, developed by the
WHO, demonstrates that gender biases, discrimination, and inequities in the health workforce are systemic and calls for the adoption of gender-transformative policies that address the root causes of gender inequities and support meeting global targets for universal health coverage (UHC).
Having a Child Before Becoming an Adult: Exploring the Economic Impact in a Multi-Country Analysis
 
This report, developed by Population Council and Women Deliver, underscores the need to develop policies and programs that support employment opportunities that are economically empowering to girls and women, including social protection systems that recognize and value unpaid care work. 
Care Work and Care Jobs for the Future of Work
 
This report, developed by the International Labour Organization (ILO), takes a comprehensive look at unpaid and paid care work and its relationship with the changing world of work. The report focuses on persistent gender inequalities in households and labour markets as they relate to care work.
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