The European Care Strategy: The right time to place Mothers centre stage


Make Mothers Matter strongly welcomes the launch of a European Care Strategy.

In these unprecedented times, when Europe is navigating a global pandemic, when political tensions boil over and heinous attacks on civilians in Ukraine threaten the global order, it is important to reflect on the people who hold the fabric of society together. The pandemic has shone a light on the vital work of care workers, who continue to save lives every day, even if it means risking their own.

Most of these workers are women, but for women, care work does not end at the hospital or nursing home.

Behind the scenes, in millions of homes around Europe, women and mothers work every day to ensure that their families and children are fed, educated and healthy. When schools closed during the COVID19 pandemic, mothers stepped up to care for and educate their children.

Their work and personal investment in their families and their children place them amongst the most important care providers. The pandemic has shed light on this valuable yet invisible and undervalued work: unpaid care work. Without it, our societies would grind to a halt. Carers around the world have been at the forefront of the health crisis. Most of them are women.

Women have been hit hardest by the social and economic fallout of Covid-19. However, the gendered aspect of unpaid care work has not been sufficiently considered. The unequal division of unpaid care work between genders contributes to continuing gender inequalities in the labour market. It perpetuates women’s lower labour force participation and women’s disproportionate participation in precarious employment and reinforces the gender gaps in employment, earnings, and pension. The care gap also makes it more difficult for mothers to advance in their career and improve their professional skills. Recent literature1 has documented that gender inequalities in earnings and income are closely related to care duties for children, which fall disproportionately on mothers. Until unpaid care work is recognized, reduced, and redistributed, the care gap will continue to hinder the rights of women, especially those of mothers.

Mothers are also care recipients. Maternal health is an indicator of global health. A healthy mother can take on her educational responsibilities and fully participate in economic and social life. Maternal health also ties into issues of economic inequality between genders, since a mother who is unwell and has insufficient access to maternal healthcare may be unable to participate in economic and social life.

See our policy paper
See our executive summary

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

An almost Perfect Mother – New Podcast series with Isabelle Roskam


We are delighted to be launching our new podcast series An almost Perfect Mother featuring Isabelle Roskam, professor of development and parenting psychology at the University of Louvain, Belgium. Isa

Lire plus

Friendship NGO at the forefront of the fight against climate change


Our associate member in Bangladesh, Friendship NGO, responds to the call for input into an upcoming UN report on Human Rights and Climate Change.

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

News from the MMM European Delegation

MMM Response to the EU Care Strategy


We need care when we are very young or very old, experiencing sickness or disability and the people who provide this care are indispensable actors in European economies and societies.

Read more

In search of a cure for PCOS
The SPIOMET4Health project


MMM is participating in an EU project, SPIOMET4Health, which aims at providing a treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility, while raising awareness about the prevalence of t

Read more

Our member in Romania acts for Ukraine mothers & children


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

MMM contributes to EU Care Strategy


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

MMM connects gender pension gap and mothers’ ability to receive long term care in old age


Our contribution to the EU Commission's Call for evidence: “Access to affordable and high-quality long-term care” The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need to strengthen the European care economy. To e

Read more

An integrated approach to childcare services from a children’s rights perspective


The European Commission (EC) has announced its new plan to develop a European Care Strategy expected to strengthen long-term care and early childhood education and care, as envisaged under the European pillar o

Read more