‘Care has no value in our economic systems’ says Sociologist Maria-Angeles Duran

19.03.19

UN New York – The topic of Care took centre stage at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. We at MMM argue that despite its lack of market value in economic systems, the future of society through its children, the wellbeing of its members via the extended family, and even economic growth thanks to workers’ availability and pay depends on it.

Inès Rosell & Pascal Restuccia, MMM Representatives

The priority theme at this year’s 63rd CSW session is “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”.

Ines Rosell, MMM representative at the UN in New York emphasises that women are Right Holders, Carers, Workers and Mothers. The following is her report.

#formothers – we need social policies that work for mothers whether paid maternity leave, parental leave, universal health care, or quality child care.

Finland’s Health Minister represents one of the countries with the best maternity and child policies in the world, including the famous baby boxes. She explained how far back these policies go, to 1930 to be precise. A supportive maternal system cannot be built overnight she stressed. It‘s a long-term commitment that eventually pays off because of its benefits for families, and more generally to society.

A Woman’s reproductive role has an impact on her life and welfare. By being mostly in charge of raising children and taking care of the family, both of which are unpaid work, women are losing out on personal income, career prospects and ultimately, pensions.

We need a premium for unpaid family care work to balance the injustice this responsibility places on women. Some countries such as France, that has a one-year bonus per child on retirement, are advancing policies in this direction. But more needs to be done.

#sharethecare – we also need more participation from men in care work.

The Ministers of Social Affairs for Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland, unified to highlight the importance of a father’s role in childcare.

These Nordic countries are the pioneers of paternity leave. They agree that a better share of childcare and family chores within a household is crucial for enhancing a woman’s participation in the economic sphere. This induces an increase in income for the woman, and as a result, an increase in economic growth for countries. At the end of the day, it is crucial for achieving gender equality.

The implementation of paid paternity leave, added to paid maternity leave, goes some way towards achieving greater involvement of fathers with a positive triple impact on the mother, the child and the father himself. But it is not enough. Japan and Korea offer the longest paternity leave – the problem they face is that fathers don’t take this leave, as compared with Norway, where 80% do.

Countless countries also struggle with economic issues. Unfortunately, austerity policies are taking away social protection programs, in particular those that benefit women and mothers.
Childcare, Elder care… women are the ones who are taking the brunt of the lack of public services.

The cost of care, which is time-consuming work, explains why the responsibility lies on the shoulders of women from within the family, or women migrant workers. It takes 17 to 18 hours a day to take care of a newborn. Imagine the cost if mothers were paid at minimum wage plus charges!

“Care is not a market good”, says sociologist Maria-Angeles Duran. “For our economic systems, it has no value”. Nevertheless, the future of society (children), the wellbeing of its members (extended family) and even the economic growth (workers availability and pay) depends on it.

See also:

  1. the written Statement MMM submitted ahead of this session
  2. MMM recommendations to address the issue of unpaid family care work

 

 

Keywords:

Most read articles

Mothers march with a pen #MMMAfghanMothers

20.11.19

London, LSE - MMM launches Afghan Mothers campaign on 13 November at the London School of Economics

Lire plus

Seminar on the role of families in the circular economy – 14 May 2019 EESC Brussels

15.04.19

Make Mothers Matter is organising in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee a seminar on “the Role of Families in achieving the Circular Economy” on the occasion of

Lire plus

Work-Life-Balance: Eu Parliament voted the new Directive

05.04.19

The EU Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and family carers gained a very large majority, in the European Parliament on the 4th of April 2019 (490 votes in favor,

Lire plus

Making social protection work for and with mothers

28.02.19

UN New York , 63rd Commission on the Status of Women - MMM Statement highlights that the 2 main pillars of social protection, health and income security, are particularly relevant

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Mothers march with a pen #MMMAfghanMothers

20.11.19

London, LSE - MMM launches Afghan Mothers campaign on 13 November at the London School of Economics

Read more

MMM responds to European consultation on validation of skills

26.11.19

Make Mothers Matter responded on 13 November 2019 to the Public Consultation organised by the European Commission on the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

Read more

Systemic change a must for ending Obstetric Violence

25.11.19

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - MMM issues a statement reiterating the urgency bringing an end to the mistreatment and violence mothers suffer in pregnancy and childbirth.

Read more

Mothers, key agents of change

17.11.19

UNESCO - On the occasion of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, Gabrielle de Milleville, our representative to UNESCO, delivered a powerful message on behalf of MMM and all mothers. Before the Membe

Read more

Beyond Maternity Protection: Mothers need more than just leave policies

11.11.19

UN Geneva - MMM took part in an event organized on 8 November by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Maternity Protection: "A Century of maternity protection:

Read more

Supporting mothers and families essential for Early Childhood Development and Peace

05.11.19

UN Geneva, Geneva Peace Week - MMM had the privilege to represent the Early Childhood Peace Consortium at an event organized by Arigatou International on "Rethinking Peace theory and practice: enhancing peacebu

Read more