UN Geneva, Expert Mechanism on the Right to Development - Commenting on a draft thematic study on Inequality and social protection systems in operationalizing the right to development, MMM highlighted the importance of taking the particular needs of women into account. Women can only enjoy the right to development, including the right to participation, if the issue of unpaid family care work is recognized and addressed. Social protection systems are key to adequately support the foundational yet unpaid work of caring, which ultimately benefits everyone.
The fact is that to ensure equality of opportunity for women, and their full and effective participation in economic and social development, we must address the inequitable distribution of unpaid care work. This issue is at the root of Gender inequalities and a main cause of reduced or even lost opportunities for women and girls.
In particular it is time to establish:
These necessary steps are in line with the Secretary General’s recommendation in Our Common Agenda to measure and value what matters for people and the planet – beginning with unpaid care work.
The work of Caring is inherently human and it is at the centre of wellbeing, both human and environmental. In our view, valuing and supporting Care work should be at the heart of policy making to implement the right to development.
Disconnecting social protection from formal employment and embracing the principle of universal coverage and social protection floors is a critical first step in this direction, and it is especially important in the current context of economic crisis and the looming threat of austerity. But more needs to be done.
To quote the UN SG: “The pandemic has shown us who is doing the work that really matters: nurses, teachers, care workers. As we recover, we need to remember this. It is time to end the inequities of unpaid care work and create new economic models that work for everyone”.
So here are my (multiple) questions:
The 6th session of the UN Expert Mechanism for the Right to Development took place from 30 October to 2nd of November 2022 at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. MMM contributed this oral statement to the discussion on the draft study on Inequality and social protection systems in operationalizing the right to development, which took place during the last meeting.
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