There is a looming care crisis due to the impacts of an ageing population, cuts to public services and social protection systems, and the effects of climate change. This weight weighs heavy on poor women and girls, who are overrepresented and underpaid in care work.
This is according to a January 2020 report from Oxfam on economic inequality.
The report also finds that:
- The monetary value of women’s unpaid care work for women aged 15 and over is at least $10.8 trillion annually – three times the size of the world’s tech industry.
- Women undertake more than three quarters of unpaid care and make up two thirds of the paid care workforce.
- Economic inequality is also built on gender inequality, and the majority of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid are women. Women and girls are more likely to be found in poorly paid and precarious employment. It can be argued that capitalism actively exploits and drives traditional sexist beliefs that disempower women and girls, counting on them to do this work while refusing to value them for it.
- For change to occur, the report recommends recognising, valuing and legitimising the unpaid and underpaid care work that is done primarily by women and girls.