Who cares? A woman’s job: unpaid care

Women around the world have been burden for many years by the endless cycle of cooking, cleaning and care-giving at the home that has immensely contributed poverty more so in the third world. Policy makers have rarely acknowledged the substantial amount of care-work that women and girls spend doing most of their days. As most of the unpaid work is shifted among the females in the family this has contributed an impact of poverty in women and girls; as girls cannot attend school and prevents women from joining the market.


 Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona argues in a report (on extreme poverty and human rights) that unequal responsibilities mountained on women were a “major barrier to gender equality and to women’s equal enjoyment of human rights, and, in many cases, condemn women to poverty”. This has been the case for many women in third world countries, the report added that the inequality between men and women in paid and unpaid work needed to be addressed in the Beijing declaration in 1995 though these targets have not been matched with action. Nevertheless the report had delineated recommendations for countries that have not removed forms of discrimination against women especially in terms of the right of work.  In addition governments should address policies that will take into account the unpaid care that women provide; this includes the provision of affordable childcare and healthcare.

Globalization has positive and negative consequences and evidently the females continue to carry out larger amount of unpaid work than men that is again necessary to maintain families and the labour force. As mentioned above this unpaid work by women has been taken for granted, the challenge to change policies lies on the hand of the government and international organisations to improve the living standards and increased gender equality.  The Institute of Development studies have launched an animation on the toll of unpaid work on women; please watch now!


Gender inequality in the global world has harmed women in several ways; firstly, economically through the marginalization of unpaid labour, favour of male workers, and exploitation in low wages. Secondly, political exclusion through contemporary neoliberal policies and capitalist economic restructuring. Thirdly, women have culturally lost identity and ‘autonomy to hegemonic global cultures’. Women have evidently in this situation have become the losers of globalisation with a triple shift. Men should help their wife, daughters, sisters, and mothers and loosen their struggles in their daily lives. I shall leave you on this note by Ms Sepulveda “In order to truly empower women, we must ensure that unpaid care is better valued, supported and shared – by men and the State.”.

Munira Abukar 


3 thoughts on “Who cares? A woman’s job: unpaid care

  1. I agree with Munira, women are marginalised and discriminated against in the global system. They are handicapped by their reproductive role which the global financial system uses as scapegoat for the exploitation of unpaid work women do as well as the unequal in comparison to men.
    Eva Aisha Caley

  2. Women in the world find it very difficult to earn a job that is equivalent to men, although in some cases their working hours is more than the men but still the inequalities burden. The Beijing conference in 1995 set policies, which includes empower women and tackle inequalities, but inequalities is still a problematic issue to tackle with in the society that we are now. We cannot totally say that things are the same as it was before, no there is some improvement but it is still a concern up till date.
    zakiyyah tukur

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s