The Unpaid Care Work project seeks to bring recognition to the unpaid care work that women do and to sensitize women to evaluate time spent on various categories of care and work with the objective of reducing and redistributing such works – from the mother who takes care of her children, to the wife who cooks her family’s meals, the eldest daughter who helps with the housework, and the widow who works in the community kitchen.

Unpaid care is more difficult to do in the context of poverty as basic amenities, and access to public services are lacking. Further, the income needed to purchase goods and services to undertake care work may not be available. Women must then rely on their own labor to provide the care that is required. Many women living in poverty carry the dual responsibilities for both unpaid care work and earning an income or subsistence farming. Women’s responsibility for care leads to the violation of their basic human rights to an education, political participation, decent work and leisure. It contributes to persistent gender inequalities.

This project aimed at raising awareness to the bulk of unpaid care work women undertake from cooking, taking care of sick children and parents, fetching water, collecting firewood amongst others. The sensitization aims at recognizing these various roles women play as well as its social and economic value while also helping them reduce the amount of time they spend on unpaid care and redistributing the unpaid care work from women to men and from family the family to communities and states.

It is also a call to governments to finance the public services that will help to reduce women’s unpaid care work and tackle gender inequality – so that women and girls are not disproportionately responsible. Stories of Change of ActionAid’s unpaid Care Work Projects