Social protection for mothers and children is an investment

08.06.21

ILO's International Labour Conference - MMM's intervention stressed the critical importance, relevance, and legitimacy of realizing universal social protection for unpaid caregivers, especially mothers.

The Covid-19 crisis has exposed how the inequitable distribution of care responsibilities is a source of economic injustice for women, creating challenges that most mothers face in trying to juggle care responsibilities with paid work.

As part of the ‘decent work’ agenda, it is high time governments and employers address this issue and seriously invest in supporting women, parents and other caregivers doing this essential yet unpaid, mostly invisible work of caring.

First, unpaid care work must be recognized as work, essential work which in the long-term benefits communities and society as a whole. It is therefore also a collective responsibility.

  • This means that every unpaid caregiver should have access to social protection just like any other worker. In particular, every mother should have access to social security, healthcare, pension and full maternity protection.
  • Furthermore, we need to redefine “work” as a holistic concept, where both paid and unpaid work are combined. The world of work must adapt to this reality, and private companies must commit to supporting workers with care responsibilities.

Second, social protection must be considered as an investment, not as an expense that should be minimized.

Supporting caregivers, parents especially, through targeted public services AND adequate social protection is investing in people and families. Ultimately it is also about investing in children – and we know how critical nurturing care is during early childhood. It is investment with high returns, especially for vulnerable families.

To conclude, the pandemic provides a unique opportunity for systemic changes, and this begins by changing narratives:

  1. Unpaid family care work IS work, and a collective responsibility, hence the need for universal social protection.
  2. Social protection must be considered as a long-term investment.

Full statement for download

MMM was among 7 International NGOs that contributed to the Recurrent Discussion on Social protection at the 109th International Labour Conference (ILC109).

We also fully agree with the EU that realizing Universal Social Protection “is both a right that belongs to all human beings and an investment with high social and economic returns. It strongly contributes to reducing poverty, vulnerability, social exclusion and inequalities, tackling gender gaps while enhancing political stability, fairness, solidarity and social cohesion”.

 

Most read articles

Afghan faces and voices of courage

21.09.21

August 15th saw the collapse of the Afghan government and a return to power by the Taliban. At MMM, like much of the rest of the world, we were shocked

Lire plus

Unpaid care work is work that our economic system must recognize, invest in and support

19.07.21

UN New York / HLPF - A look back at our side-event to the UN High Level Political Forum

Lire plus

Mothers and Peace – Book launch

21.09.21

On International Day of Peace, we are celebrating the launch of Mères et Paix (Mothers and Peace), a book by our MMM colleague Pauline Ambrogi. Pauline holds a doctorate in

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

In this together: Share the Care, Transform Tomorrow

02.07.22

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 gender equality and the wellbeing of all. Our v

Read more

Our member in Romania acts for Ukraine mothers & children

21.06.22

The ongoing conflict and resulting humanitarian crisis in Ukraine has had a devastating impact on the mental and physical health of mothers and their children, on both those who have fled and those who have sta

Read more

Racism surrounding childbirth

18.06.22

UN Geneva - On the occasion of a consultation on Racism and the Right to Health, MMM denounces the systemic racism against mothers in childbirth, prevalent in developed countries, with two key indicators: women

Read more

Unpaid care work and motherhood: MMM calls on ILO to change employment approach

30.05.22

International Labour conference, Geneva – To redress the economic injustice suffered by many mothers as a result of their caring responsibilities, MMM has called for a new approach to employment: a human-cent

Read more

MMM contributes to EU Care Strategy

18.05.22

In these unprecedented times, when Europe is navigating a global pandemic, when political tensions are boiling over threatening to destabilize the global order, it is vital to reflect on the people who hold the

Read more

Mothers’ Mental Load: The Unpaid (and Unrecognized) Cognitive and Emotional Labour

15.05.22

MMM is delighted to publish a report written by Emma Levrau, a student in Global Health and Social Justice (Master of Science) at Kings College London on the unpaid and invisible cognitive and emotional work th

Read more