Covid-19: ‘We need a Care & education-led recovery’ says MMM President

18.11.20

Speaking at the UfM Women4Mediteranean Conference 2020, MMM President Anne-Claire de Liedekerke also called for radical change in the way we perceive and value Care, education, and those who are responsible for it.

Anne-Claire de Liedekerke’s full speech

Key messages:

  1. Care is a necessity: we all need care; and at certain times in our lives our survival depends on care.
    Care is a treasure: caring for each other is not only necessary it is also the one thing that makes us happy.
    Care is a resource, indispensable to support the world’s economies. But at the same time care, and particularly unpaid care work mostly performed by women (mothers) is not accounted for in GDP and is at the chore of gender inequalities.
  2. The pandemic has exacerbated inequalities. When inequalities concern care and education, a part of the world’s population is excluded from their future and that will have a direct impact on all of us.
  3. Vulnerable people, including children, pay the highest price for the pandemic. But mothers also pay a high price.
    Care is costly and its cost is unfairly distributed. Mothers are generally paying an unfair share and that has been dramatized by the effect of the pandemic. During confinements parents had to care for their children while doing their job from home. This has had a greater impact on mothers’ employment than on fathers’ employment, thereby reinforcing the aptly called “motherhood penalty”
  4. Paradoxically one of the very few good side about the pandemic is that it has made more visible how important care and education are. People have actually seen care upfront. It has shown men and women, but also their employers, that care is a responsibility that concerns us all and cannot be ignored.
  5. The pandemic gives all governments an opportunity to take stock of what really matters and implement measures which reflect that. That will require courage and imagination. but it is a matter of priorities.
  6. We need care and education-led recovery measures. All policy decisions should be “care & education proofed”; in other words their implications on care and education must be assessed.
  7. Spending on care and education must be seen as investments not expenses.
    In particular, cost benefit analysis have consistently shown that investing in Early Childhood Development is the most powerful investment a country can make.
  8. Our current economic system fails to recognize the essential role of care and education, especially of unpaid care work. Governments need to be creative and move beyond GDP to prioritize care and education for wellbeing, sustainability and equity in our economy, using indicators more related to the human wellbeing.
  9. Children, women, men, mothers, fathers and families can be the driving force for change. The importance of parents must be recognized and Family Laws enacted and enforced to uphold their rights.
  10. The other driving force is education. MMM is in particular committed to girls’ right to education – as exemplified by its #RaiseAPen campaign.

Building back better is the responsibility of all governments but it is also our collective and individual responsibility to care. Another positive effect of the pandemic is that in many families, parents and children have actually enjoyed spending more time together.

Creativity and imagination will be needed to build back better and pursue the common good.

Caring for each other will make a difference and particularly caring for children because their future is in our hands and our future is in their hands.

The Women4Mediteranean Conference 2020 was organized by the Union for Mediterranean (UfM) on 16-20 November 2020. Recordings of all the conference sessions are available the UfM website. See also the full report of the conference.

Anne-Claire de Liedekerke made her speech at the plenary session 1 on ‘Women on the Frontline of COVID-19’, which took place on 17 November. To watch the video recording please see below; her intervention starts at 58:48. 

Most read articles

#RaiseAPen Campaign kicks off

12.11.20

Make Mothers Matter (MMM), backed by key global personalities and organisations, is kicking off the #RaiseAPen campaign with a strong mobilisation video, answering the call of mothers in Afghanistan f

Lire plus

Together with mothers in Afghanistan for the right to education for their daughters

26.11.20

A look back at our online High Level Panel Discussion of 25 November 2020 - Event recording, highlights, how you can get involved in the #RaiseAPen campaign

Lire plus

Care and Education – Cornerstones of sustainable and just economies

04.07.20

UN New York, HLPF - Invitation to a virtual side-event to the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on 16 July

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

MMM joins KISANY in celebrating Mothers the whole month of May

06.05.21

We are excited to partner with the KISANY family this May as many parts of the world celebrate Mother’s Day.

Read more

Riseup-PPD statement for World Maternal Mental Health Day

06.05.21

The World Maternal Mental Health Day (MMH Day) 2021 is aimed at raising awareness surrounding maternal mental health issues worldwide.

Read more

Revisiting SDG 8 with a “Care lens”

26.04.21

UN New York - In our written Statement to the 2021 High Level Political Forum, we revisit SDG 8, which will be reviewed this year. We argue that “Work” must be redefined as a holistic concept, where both pa

Read more

MMS mission supports midwives saving lives

22.04.21

Mothers and Midwives Support (MMS), an MMM associate member, has been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the island of Idjwi for over three years to support economic development, train midwives, and

Read more

The European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan: steady progress for unpaid care work

14.04.21

The pandemic has shed light on the most valuable, yet invisible and undervalued work: care work. Without it, our societies would grind to a halt. It is carers all over the world who have been at the forefront o

Read more

Mothers are more likely to be at risk of poverty in old age

04.04.21

UN Geneva - In its response to the Human Rights of Older Women consultation, MMM identifies the inequitable M-F division of unpaid family caregiving duties as a root cause of the M-F pension gap.

Read more