Policy Findings

From 2012 to 2016, IDS and partners in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda have undertaken research into unpaid care as part of our research programme on “Influencing Policies to Support the Empowerment of Women and Girls”. We have been exploring the political economy conditions under which policy actors recognise or ignore the significance of unpaid care.

Along with our partners, we have been looking at the supply side of care: who provides care, under what conditions, and at what cost? We have also looked at where, why, when and how unpaid care concerns become more visible on national and international policy agendas. The key recommendations from our work are outlined below, with links to the source output for further reading.

Policy recommendations

Policy findings on early childhood development

Women’s rights and children’s rights directly influence each other. Childcare responsibilities, for instance, directly impact how and what paid work women are able to do. This is why a focus on ECD goes hand in hand with making positive changes in unpaid care.

Policy findings on paid work

A broader understanding of economic empowerment encompasses both the market economy and also the care economy that sustains it.

Policy findings on social protection

Successful social protection policy incorporates unpaid care into its aims, design, implementation, and evaluation. Yet unpaid care remains invisible in many policies.