World of work must adapt to people and families – not the other way around

07.07.20

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - MMM contributed to the discussion on the report of the UN Working Group on Discrimination against women by offering 3 recommendations.

We fully agree that, as stated in the Working Group’s 2020 annual report, “Realizing women’s human rights in the changing world of work requires a fundamental transformation of the structure of work and the economy”.

We also welcome the recognition of pregnancy, maternity and family responsibilities as factors contributing towards discriminations.

During the interactive dialogue that followed the presentation of the report on 6 July, MMM made 3 additions to the excellent list of recommendations of the UN Working Group – with a particular focus on the issue of unpaid care work.

  • Our first recommendation is to build on the 2013 resolution of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians, which, in effect, recognizes unpaid care work as “work”, to give unpaid carers a status and rights. These include access to social protection – beginning with maternity protection and healthcare, as well as training and care-credits in pensions.
  • Second, the unpaid work of caring, especially raising and educating children and running a household, develop skills, which include management and life-skills. Recognizing and validating these valuable skills would make any temporary withdrawal from the workforce linked to caring responsibilities a “work experience”. It would also contribute to the recognition of unpaid care work.
  • Third, realizing women’s economic and social rights requires prioritizing Care in policy-making, which in turn calls for a paradigm shift in our economic system and thinking. The UN must drive the move beyond GDP, which is notably blind to women’s unpaid care work, so that other indicators measuring wellbeing, sustainability and equity drive our economies.

It is time that the world of work adapts to people and families, and that the economy serves the wellbeing of people and the planet – not the other way around.

The UN Working Group on Discrimination against women in Law and practice presented its 2020 annual report during the 44th session of the Human Rights council, which took place 30 June to 17 July at the UN in Geneva.

MMM Oral Statement for download

 

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