UN Geneva - At the recent plenary meeting of the International Labour Conference, we reasserted the imperative, as part of social justice, of supporting caregivers, in particular mothers, in the world of work. In our message, we provided concrete measures to do so, and to redress the motherhood penalty.
The following is the full text of our statement ‘Recognizing and Valuing Unpaid Care Work: Promoting Social Justice for Mothers’
We welcome the discussion on Social Justice and congratulate the ILO Director General for his report. It is regretful however, that the concept of unpaid care work is so rarely mentioned, as well as the blatant omission of the word ‘mother’ in this otherwise excellent report.
At MMM, we believe that recognizing and valuing the unpaid care work performed by mothers is of paramount importance not just in itself but also, in helping to achieve social justice for all. Our aim is to shed light on the critical contributions made by mothers through their relentless dedication to caring for their families and communities without financial compensation.
Unpaid care work, predominantly performed by women, remains an under-appreciated cornerstone of our societies. Mothers, in particular, undertake an immense responsibility of care work including childcare, household chores, and emotional support, which often goes unrecognized and undervalued in economic and social spheres. This systemic devaluation and the inequitable distribution of this essential yet unpaid work, restricts women’s full participation in the labour market. It is also a cause of economic injustice and hardship for women, perpetuating gender inequality and impeding progress towards achieving social justice.
Therefore, we propose the following measures to redress this injustice:
By embracing these measures, we can create a more just and inclusive society that recognizes and values the tireless contributions of mothers. We need to work together to transform societal norms, eliminate gender disparities, in particular in accessing decent work, and build a future where unpaid care work is valued, equitably shared, and fairly compensated.
Melissa Barbottin, our UN Geneva team member, delivered this statement via video as part of the general discussion on Social Justice at the 111th International Labour Conference, the annual gathering of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
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