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

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

Lire plus

200 million hours spent by women and girls fetching water every day


UN New York - On the occasion of the World Water Day and the UN Water Conference, MMM highlights the impact of the lack of access to safe and clean

Lire plus

MMM welcomes first ever Human Rights Council resolution on Care


UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - Entitled ‘Centrality of care and support from a human rights perspective’, this landmark resolution was presented by the governments of Argentina, Iceland, Mexico

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

News from the MMM European Delegation

Empowering Families for a Better Tomorrow Insights from We Learn Everywhere Conference


This event, marked by insightful presentations and discussions, addressed the challenges and opportunities that exist in parenting within our complex society and highlighted the tools created to provide parents

Read more

Parental tools for mental wellbeing: join us in Brussels to find out the results


The "We Learn Everywhere" (WLE) project is a pioneering initiative that has made significant strides in promoting family well-being through education and support for parents and children across Europe. As this

Read more

A Green Deal must include a Care Deal – Maternal mental health under the spotlight at EU Parliament


On November 7th, we co-hosted an event at the EU Parliament on peripartum depression with MEP Maria Noichl.

Read more

Breaking the Silence on Maternal Mental Health


Make Mothers Matter launched a new video series on Maternal Mental Health, addressing mothers, their families and society in general. Our aim is to highlight the latest research surrounding maternal health in o

Read more

Call to action: make 2024 the EU year for Women’s Mental Health


In June this year, the European Union (EU) Commission announced a new high-priority initiative to address the mental health of all Europeans.

Read more

EU Parliament recognizes the need to include parents when combating child poverty
A milestone for MMM and partners


In a significant stride towards prioritizing family welfare, the European Union Parliament has recently released a comprehensive report (“Children first - strengthening the Child guarantee, two years on from

Read more