Re-value the importance of care in society

Feminist organizations have insisted for decades on the importance of recognizing the systemic role of care work. This invisible work is indispensable for reproducing the labour force and more broadly for sustaining life. The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed this feminist message into an accepted truth.

The new coronavirus has forcefully exposed the fragility of human life. All of us face the risk of catching a disease that can kill us. In this context, it is also made very visible that our lives are interdependent. To avoid contagion, we need to take care of ourselves, but we also depend on the whole of society adopting habits of caring. If we get sick, we need the specialized care of people who work in the health sector, but also daily care to meet the daily needs of existence.

Most of the strategies adopted to confront the pandemic, based on physical distancing and social isolation, along with "stay at home" guidelines, have been possible because "at home" there is the regular provision of domestic and care unpaid work that reproduces life on a daily basis. With the closure of schools and of daycare facilities for dependent persons, unpaid domestic and care work in households has increased.

By Corina Rodríguez Enríquez, DAWN.

Read this chapter here.

Source: Report Spotlight on Sustainable Development 2020.