Global support for recognition of ‘Care as a Right’ gains momentum – MMM teams look back at CSW 2023


UN New York - This year’s priority theme of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was ‘Innovation, technological change, education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’. The following is a brief report on the highlights of this session.

Gender Equality remains an important concern: at the current rate of progress, UN Women puts it at almost 300 years away. When it comes to digital rights, three billion people are still unconnected, the majority of them being women in developing countries. It is also important to bear in mind that technology cannot be used to its full potential unless women are involved.

As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reaffirmed at the opening session: ‘We cannot let the Silicon Valleys of our world become Death Valleys for women’s rights’.

The 2023 Commission revealed the real and multiple challenges of including women more broadly in the digital environment. But it was also an opportunity to exchange knowledge and good practices. Digitalization and digital tools offer many possibilities for the empowerment of women. Technologies can help reduce the time women spend on unpaid care work, allowing them more time to be involved in paid work or other activities. However, if a technology like artificial intelligence can free time, it has not demonstrated the necessary empathy needed to care for people. Technology does not replace caregivers, whose role remains essential.

Technology can play a key role in creating solutions to advance gender inequality. But challenges regarding accessibility remain: it begins simply with internet or even electricity access. Data and artificial intelligence are other key challenges. Regarding data, we recognize its importance and the convenient use of technology to collect it. But we need more gender disaggregated data, and surveys must be accessible (in an open format, with easy use and understandable language). Artificial intelligence generates biases, especially towards women. The algorithms on which artificial intelligence tools are based are developed by teams that are largely composed of men, which can lead to discrimination. The CSW also emphasized the importance and the urgency to involve more women in STEM.

Through diverse and compelling side-events, other topics were also covered during the 2 week-long annual Commission, including, some more specifically relevant to mothers and Care.

Some key takeaways:

  • Spain proposed the establishment of an International Day of Care Rights, in order to celebrate and reaffirm the importance of Care rights and give visibility to such international alliances as the Global Alliance for Care, which was launched in 2021 as part of the Gender Equality Forum
  • The ILO, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has developed the Care Policy Investment Simulator, the largest online Care policy tool, which once it is launched will be available to the general public. It is built on over 180 statistical indicators and will contain data from more than 80 countries worldwide
  • Mexico and Argentina are working on a Care map, and Chile is implementing a national register of care workers
  • Several CSW side-events emphasized the need to recognize the important role of parents, and the need for Member States to provide family friendly policies such as paid parental leave and accessible childcare
  • UNICEF highlighted the importance of the caregiver’s mental health
  • The idea of considering Care as a human right is gaining ground, and is now being supported by an increasing number of countries, mainly in Latin America

In conclusion, CSW has a vision of technology as an effective tool to empower women and reduce gender inequalities – a tool that we must develop and make accessible for all.

Very encouraging for MMM is the increasing attention of Member States on the issue of unpaid (and underpaid) care work as a structural barrier to Gender Equality; Latin American countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay, have clearly taken the lead, recognizing Care as a Right or implementing a National Care Policy.

We at MMM are committed to continuing our advocacy work to raise awareness of the issue, to promote comprehensive and inter-sectoral national Care policies, and to call for the recognition of Care as a Right at the Global Level: Right to Care, Right to be cared for and Right to Self-Care.

See also our written statement to the Commission: ‘Harnessing digital technologies to empower mothers – and their children

From left to right: Passy Mubalama, Founder & Director of AIDPROFEN, MMM Associate Member based in DRC, Constance Nothomb, MMM; Jacqueline Leduc, MMM; Carmen Quintanilla, Director of AFAMMER, MMM Associate Member based in Spain; Irene Montero, Minister of Equality of Spain; Justine Besson, MMM


Most read articles

In this together: Share the Care, Transform Tomorrow


UN New York, HLPF - Join us on July 11th for a discussion on how #SharingTheCare at every level - family, community, governments and private sector - is vital for

Lire plus

Making the case for Gender Equal Parenting: Vital for Early Childhood Development and a transformative tomorrow


At MMM, we believe that sharing the invisible work of caring and educating children more equitably is a quadruple win: essential for early child development (ECD), beneficial for both men

Lire plus

Leave no single mother Behind: solutions from across the world


UN New York, CSocD61 - The virtual event we are organizing as part of the 2023 UN Commission on Social Development will draw attention to the specificity of the situation

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Pathways to a transformative recovery centered on Care


UN New York - Ahead of the upcoming 2023 High Level Political Forum (HLPF), MMM's written statement provides 2 concrete policymaking avenues to address the issue of unpaid care work and accelerate progress on G

Read more

A right to care to foster quality non-formal education


UN New York - Our oral statement to the UN Commission on Population Development calls for for the recognition of the importance of non formal education, which mostly takes place within families. It includes the

Read more

Global support for recognition of ‘Care as a Right’ gains momentum – MMM teams look back at CSW 2023


UN New York - This year’s priority theme of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) was ‘Innovation, technological change, education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerme

Read more

Women at the peace table: international Conference


Make Mothers Matter, together with the city of Ypres, and its grass roots partners Mothers for Peace, Mama Kivu and the Vrouwenraad, is organizing an international peace Conference Women at the Peace Table, whi

Read more

268 years to close the economic gender gap? It is time to consider CARE as a human right


Care is at the heart of our advocacy work here at MMM, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to put forward our thoughts in this op-ed featured on the OECD Forum Network website.

Read more

Unpaid care work is not a burden


UN Geneva - In recent years, MMM has strongly advocated for eliminating the use of the word ‘Burden’ in association with unpaid care work. Many people have talked and written about the ‘burden of unpaid c

Read more