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

Prioritising SDG 5 Target 5.4 to recognize the work of mothers and advance all the SDGs


UN New York, HLPF - In the Sustainable Development Goals, Target 5.4 calls for the recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid family care work, i.e. the domestic and care work

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

News from the MMM European Delegation

Why Maternal Mental Health Matters


Make Mothers Matter submitted its contribution to the Call for Evidence of the EU Commission on Mental Health.

Read more

Supporting families to meet children’s needs by making quality family support a right for children


Family is the primary social structure through which the needs and rights of children and young people are met and realized. The right to family life as set out by the UNCRC, is a key right for all children and

Read more

Care on the Move: Addressing the Gender Gap


On 28th February 2023, Make Mothers Matter together with partners, is organizing a conference at the European Parliament to tackle the issue of the gender care gap in relation to intra-EU mobility. Featuring Dr

Read more

EU Directive on Pay Transparency


MMM welcomes a new political decision by the European Parliament and the European Council taken in December 2022, regarding pay transparency measures.

Read more

A new Irish legislation for mandatory inquests into maternal deaths
“Remaking the Fabric of Care”


A new Act, the Coroners (Amendment) 2019 Act, was passed in full and enacted at the beginning of 2020. This law makes reporting and inquests into all maternal deaths mandatory. It also allows Coroners to go bey

Read more

Ensure Universal Access to Maternal healthcare in the European Union


The European Child Guarantee and universal maternal healthcare in Europe: the essential role of maternal health in the first 1000 days of child development

Read more