Global Care Advocacy workshop: Resources

Here we bring together some key resources for the Global Care Advocacy workshop, At the workshop, these documents were provided on a usb card for delegates. For more resources on Unpaid Care, see our key reading on Unpaid Care

The hegemony cracked: the power guide to getting care onto the development agenda.

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2012

Numerous factors have played their part in keeping care of the development agenda: silence from government allows them to pass on the costs to families and communities rather than financing care as a public good; self-interest and peer-group dynamics have contributed to development practitioners avoiding the issue; and those most affected - the caregivers themselves - are often those who are most voiceless, and with least capacity to engage politically. This Institute of Development Studies working paper by Rosalind Eyben uses power analysis and the notion of hegemony to examine the historical neglect of care in the international development sector. Aimed at feminist practitioners and scholar-activists, the paper discusses how power kept care off the agenda, how cracks are emerging in the hegemony of power, and suggests strategies for operating within the present policy environment.

Since the start of the economic crisis care issues have become more visible, presenting opportunities to get care onto the development agenda. Eyben argues these opportunities come in the form of ‘cracks’ in the current economic hegemony into which feminist activism can reach. A number of suggestions are made regarding policy strategising, including the need for a reflexive approach to policy change, and the advantages of ‘small wins’ through the process of naming, framing, claiming, and programming care issues. Eyben notes that one of the reasons as to why care stays invisible is because it seems to fit nowhere, impacting as it does on a broad swathe of sectors and issues. Yet this does not mean that it should be ignored; conversely, it also means that care can fit everywhere, gifting many potential opportunities for progress. The conclusion of the paper reminds us not to underestimate the challenge of getting care into development policies and practice, tied as it is to deep-rooted neoliberal policies wedded to the idea of austerity and cutting back the state. Additionally, the global nature of the industry, together with the socioeconomic barriers to political participation of caregivers themselves, have hidden care from national discourse and policy agendas. Feminists in the international development sector must engage with global economic justice and development movements to persuade them of their self-interest in promoting care issues.

Balancing paid work and unpaid care work to achieve women’s economic empowerment

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2015

This policy briefing argues that women's economic empowerment can lead to economic growth but it is important to understand it as not simply about labour force participation, but also about the choice to work, the choice of sector, location and working hours. It looks at the interactions between the market and the household and the consequences of unpaid care work on the type, location and nature of paid work that women and girls can undertake, thereby impacting their economic empowerment. Further, the briefing outlines policy actions that can help prevent women from being forced into making choices that have negative social, economic and political outcomes.

MASVAW Movement Mapping Report: Movement Mapping and Critical Reflection with Activists of the Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW) Campaign, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, August 2014

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2015

This movement mapping report thus introduces a collaborative research project between the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ), India, their local activist partners in the Men’s Action to Stop Violence Against Women (MASVAW) campaign and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to explore the effectiveness of men’s collective action in addressing GBV. The research is premised on the notion that challenging patriarchy and working towards gender equality must include working with men and boys to understand their privileges as well as the co-option, coercion and subjugation that they also face within a patriarchal system. In turn, the authors aim to improve understanding and knowledge of the changing roles of men in addressing GBV and how and why collective action holds possibilities as an effective strategy to support this in the Indian context. This research is exploring the actors, strategies, challenges, collaborations and pathways for future engagement of the MASVAW campaign that works across the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Towards gender equality with care-sensitive social protection

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2014

This policy briefing argues that unpaid care work and social protection are intrinsically linked. Women and girls' uptake of social protection provisions is affected by their unpaid care work responsibilities. Conversely these essential provisions can help alleviate the drudgery and burden that unpaid care work places upon them. The author argues that despite the considerable body of research evidence that demonstrates these clear connections, unpaid care work remains largely invisible in social protection policies and programming. In order to address this challenge, the paper says that policies must recognise the value of women's work, shift the burden of care work away from women and families and improve access to the vital services that will help improve women and girls' wellbeing.

Unpaid care work resource guide

ActionAid International, 2013

This resource guide is based on discussions and thinking from the unpaid care work workshop held in Nairobi, Kenya from 21-24 March 2011. The workshop brought together ActionAid staff and partners from Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and India. It was a mix of programme and policy staff including representatives from the International Women’s Rights, Education, HIV & AIDS, Governance and Food Rights teams. There was also support from ActionAid’s Impact Assessment and Shared Learning team to begin developing monitoring and evaluation tools. ActionAid International Nepal further added case studies and supported the first publication of this resource guide in April 2012. Since the workshop, the Unpaid Care Work programme was piloted in four countries – Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Nepal from 2011-2012. The resource guide has since been updated and revised to incorporate the lessons learned from the pilot programme.

Extreme poverty and human rights: Special Rapporteur report

UN, 2013

This report from the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights positions unpaid care work as a major human rights issue. Focusing on women caregivers, particularly those living in poverty, the author argues that heavy and unequal care responsibilities are a major barrier to gender equality and to women’s equal enjoyment of human rights, and, in many cases, condemn women to poverty. Therefore, the report argues, the failure of States to adequately provide, fund, support and regulate care contradicts their human rights obligations, by creating and exacerbating inequalities and threatening women’s rights enjoyment. The report analyses the relationship between unpaid care and poverty, inequality and women’s human rights; clarifies the human rights obligations of States with regard to unpaid care; and finally provides recommendations to States on how to recognize, value, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work. Ultimately, it argues that State policies should position care as a social and collective responsibility, in particular through improving women’s access to public services, care services and infrastructure.

This report [A/68/293] is also available in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian via the UN website?.

The right to unite: a handbook on domestic workers rights across Asia

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development , 2010

This guide highlights several concerns about how the rights of domestic workers in Asia are upheld, or not. It highlights that most domestic workers are not recognised in their national labour laws as workers and that recruitment agencies and employers exploit this lack of protection and are given impunity to treat the domestic workers as they see fit. It points out that workers in most countries do not have the legal right to a weekly day off, public holidays or leave with pay, even when the rights are included in the law as employers do not respect them. The report highlights that, in most Asian countries, domestic workers’ right to freedom of association and right to organise are not included or protected in the law, leaving them unable to have collective representation to protect their own rights and to call for justice when their rights are violated.

Rapid Care Analysis for development programs: initial findings and methodology

Oxfam, 2013

Oxfam has developed a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA) to assess context-specific patterns of unpaid household work and care of people. Designed to integrate into existing tools on livelihoods, food, security or vulnerability, it makes visible how care responsibility impacts women's time, health or mobility, and identifies practical interventions to help ensure that women can participate fully in and benefit equally from development programmes. This presentation of 25 slides explains RCA and how to apply it.

Care in households and communities: background paper on conceptual issues

Oxfam, 2013

This paper clarifies the main conceptual issues around care as a major issue in promoting women’s human rights, empowerment and overcoming poverty and inequality. It outlines overlapping terms and debates relevant for local programming and research on ‘care in households and communities’. The author explores the increasing prominence of ‘care’ in international development discourse, including an annex on the historical evolution of the concept, a glossary of terms and extensive references. The second section reviews approaches to bring about change patterns of providing care: the ‘3Rs’ framework to ‘recognise, reduce and redistribute’ care. The last section unravels debates about measuring care - time use surveys, monetary valuation and recent research on time-and-income poverty.

This report is also available in Spanish here:

Gender-equitable public investment: how time-use surveys can help

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2014

This briefing argues that macroeconomic policy often fails to recognise the disproportionate burden of unpaid care work on women, and as a result reinforces both gender and income inequalities. The author argues that by providing detailed information on how this burden is unequally distributed across gender, class, ethnicity and other socioeconomic characteristics, time-use data can help in guiding more equitable allocations of public resources and promoting government budget priorities that recognise the importance of unpaid work, both for the economy and for human wellbeing. The briefing makes several policy recommendations.

Connecting unpaid care work and childhood development for gains in women and children’s rights

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2014

This policy briefing argues that women’s rights and children’s rights directly influence each other, yet there have been few successes at tackling the agendas in a collaborative way, limiting the quality of policy and practice in both areas. The author argues that integrating unpaid care concerns into early childhood development policies has the potential to positively reinforce both women’s and children’s rights. Addressing this challenge involves recognising the value of unpaid care work in relation to childcare, redistributing childcare responsibilities from women to men, and recognising that responsibility for children goes beyond the immediate family to the collective community and the state.

Men in collective action on SGBV in Kenya: a case study

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2014

This case study examines the ways in which collective action and the involvement of men may influence the prospects of effectively changing community perceptions and values regarding sexual and gender-based violence, and how it may strengthen the overall response to the problem in Kenya.

The broader aim is to help improve information access and to inform the strategies of relevant actors (including activists and policymakers) addressing this issue, with meaningful male engagement, and to facilitate the forging and strengthening of strategic alliances for gender justice and ending SGBV in Kenya. The report seeks to contribute to the burgeoning literature on the role of men and collective action in addressing SGBV (Barker et al. 2011; Esplen 2006; Ricardo, Eads and Barker 2011).

Efforts to involve men and boys are thought to stand a greater chance of succeeding if different stakeholders can build partnerships with other organisations and across social movements (Cornwall, Edström and Greig 2011). Yet the body of knowledge about the effectiveness and success of initiatives that engage men in the prevention of and response to SGBV remains relatively limited (Barker et al. 2011).

[summary from Institute of Development Studies (]

Addressing Sexual Violence in and Beyond the 'Warzone'

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2014
Conflict-related sexual violence remains pervasive across the globe. Its widespread use has been reported in Rwanda, Liberia, Northern Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. As world leaders prepare to gather in London for the Global Summit on Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict on 10-13 June 2014, it is important that they focus their attention on the multiple forms of sexual violence that occur in all conflict and conflict-affected settings, not just on its use as a ‘weapon of war’. This is critical to ensuring that access to care and support for all survivors of sexual violence is improved, and that these essential resources are delivered across state, humanitarian and development agencies – avoiding the creation of parallel and hierarchical support systems.

Getting unpaid care onto development agendas.

Institute of Development Studies UK, 2013
This IDS Policy Brief from January 2013 focuses on getting unpaid care onto the development agenda. Despite mounting robust literature on the quantity and importance of unpaid care work globally, including a substantial and highly credible body of evidence produced by members of the International Association for Feminist Economics, care continues to be neglected in development policy and programming. This briefing explains why this is the case, namely the fact that care is a political issue at heart, and provides recommendations to policy practitioners and activists keen to address the issue. Following an introduction defining and explaining unpaid care work, the policy brief lays out the ways in which power keeps care off the agenda:
  • Personal bias: examples highlighted are gender activists challenging the development discourse of the 1970’s ignoring feminist scholars’ work on unpaid care to focus on women professionals pushing against a glass ceiling, as well as the dissonance of middle-class activists often hiring low paid help when working for NGO’s in developing countries.
  • Systemic bias: systemic circular logic is described, whereby the argument goes that if there were sufficient evidence communicated, action would be taken, and so a lack of action is deemed to indicate that evidence is flawed and/or poorly communicated.
  • Strategic ignorance: since prioritising unpaid care work would require wholesale re-evaluation of policy and budget considerations, care work is often sidelined even when acknowledged, as with the World Development Report of 2011/12.
  • Evidence of care work as a serious gender issue is not enough; policy reflects powers’ ability to classify and organise ideas and so are inherently political and subject to challenge and resistance.
The brief closes with implications for advocacy and practice, noting that due to constraints of power, activists cannot hope for more than small wins. Power must be challenged head on through tackling personal bias with reflective practice, alliance building for changing systemic bias, and analysing power to identify and exploit opportunities. Using these three strategies, change can be shaped through a succession of small wins in naming, claiming, and programming care in isolation or combination, to achieve gradual, non-linear progress.

Participatory methodology: Rapid Care Analysis

Oxfam, 2013
Although care is at heart a public good, responsibility for unpaid care work falls predominantly on women, contributing to their extreme poverty and social exclusion. Although changing the ways in which care is provided may take decades, the relative invisibility of the issue means that there are potentially many short-term, investigative, and ‘small-win’ opportunities to examine care in a participatory manner. In order to facilitate such preliminary exploration of care at a community level, Oxfam have published this toolkit and accompanying guidance document for designing and implementing a Rapid Care Analysis (RCA); a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) designed to identify, quantify, reflect upon, and adjust patterns of care provision within communities, and highlight and resolve problematic aspects. The guidance document, aimed at managers and facilitators, defines and explains the key concepts within care and unpaid care; illustrates the flexibility and ease-of-integration of RCA into existing frameworks; provides information on setting the parameters for using RCA (scope, roles, outcomes, etc.); planning and implementing the RCA tool, including tailoring for specific contexts, e.g. rural versus urban communities; ensuring good quality documentation, including advice that respondents replies be transcribed in full; as well as getting support and giving feedback. There are seven FGDs in the toolkit, spread across four steps of the RCA process (though depending on context and time-available, some FGDs may be dropped, while others may be expanded upon):
  • Step one (FGD 1) explores relationships of care in the community, asking participants to identify who they care for, what form that care takes, and the frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) of the care delivered, before group reflection.
  • Step two (FGD 2) identifies women’s and men’s work activities, asking participants to estimate their average hours per week through the compiling of a diary and using symbols (examples provided) to denote types of work and differentiate between paid and unpaid activities.
  • Step three identifies gender- and age-related patterns in care work (FDG 3); changes in care patterns, caused both through external factors such as climate-change and economic shocks, and internal factors like illness and old age (FDG 4); and locates the ‘most problematic’ care activities through discussions set by parameters agreed with participants (FDG 5).
  • Step four consists of two focus group discussions: one concerning the infrastructure and services available to support care work in communities (FDG 6), and the other providing space to think through intervention options to address problematic aspects of care previous FDGs have uncovered (FDG 7).
This webpage has links to the English guidance paper and English toolbox PDF files, as well as text only versions. For more information, read this blog post, 'Unpaid carers of the world, unite!' (14 Nov 2013) by Naomi Hossain, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies:

The Overview Report and In Brief bulletin | Gender and Social Movements

BRIDGE, 2013

This report provides an in-depth exploration of theory, case studies and key learning and routes to change drawn from the BRIDGE Gender and Social Movements Cutting Edge Programme. The programme aims to bring a gender perspective into the work of social justice movements, and support gender justice movements worldwide. The report is intended for a broad audience interested and/or involved in work around social movements and on women's rights and gender justice. It contains:

  • A framework for understanding social justice movements and some of the debates, challenges and tensions they face.
  • An introduction to women's and feminist movements, their visions and strategies, and the gains they have made over recent decades.
  • An overview of responses by broader social justice movements to issues of women's rights and gender justice.
  • An assessment of common challenges in building gender-just movements.
  • A description of the core elements of gender-just movements.
  • Some practical routes for nurturing social justice movements that challenge unjust gender power relations in all domains.

Making Care Visible: Women’s unpaid care work in Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya

ActionAid International, 2013
Collecting data on all women’s work, both paid and unpaid, is critical to improving the design of social policies and the allocation of resources to address poverty and inequality. This report documents Action Aid's multi-country programme on women's unpaid care work in Kenya, Nigeria, Nepal and Uganda. The aim of the programme is to promote a collective responsibility for care provision among women and men, the community and the government. The programme was inspired by the efforts of some national governments to measure time use and make visible women’s overall workload, including their work in their own households. Action Aid has developed a participatory time diary tool that can be completed by the women and men involved in the programme, and helps generate new thinking about the time spent by different groups on care work. The findings from the diary analysis are documented in this report, along with participants' reflections on the findings, as well as sections on national policy change and financing for public services. Across the four different countries, women spoke about their unpaid care work and the impact this had on their wellbeing. One woman in Nigeria stated, “women are suffering; they do not have time to rest. I am always doing one house chore after the other; there is too much work to do at home.” At the start of the programme women in Nigeria spoke of their “God-given role” to provide care as though there was no way of changing this role and, therefore, little reason to discuss it as a group. Women in all four countries now speak about their unpaid care work as work, or at least as an activity that takes up their time and energy. Both the community discussions and the comparative time diary collection, which included men and women, contributed to changing some men’s perspectives about care work. In communities in Uganda and Nigeria, women reported that men are now helping them with tasks in which they did not previously engage. In Kenya, Nigeria and Nepal, civil society organisations are speaking with their respective national statistical bureaus to raise the visibility of care and begin to outline possible areas for national policy change. What is also needed is greater public awareness to help make this a human rights and social justice issue. Data alone will not change perceptions, although it will contribute to valuing women’s contribution through their unpaid care work.