We know that the value of unpaid care work makes up a huge portion of the global economy, and that women and girls spend triple the amount of time as men and boys doing it. Though huge strides have been made in recent decades towards empowering women and girls through legal and policy change, educational opportunities and combating gender stereotypes, women and girls continue to be disproportionately excluded from economic empowerment opportunities.
The unpaid labour, care, and domestic work undertaken largely by women and girls impacts all of us. This work consists of everything from cooking and cleaning, sourcing food and water, family farm labour, taking care of children and the elderly, and more. Due to the often long hours spent carrying out these tasks, women and girls are usually left with less time to engage in the economy via formal employment.
The total value of unpaid care and domestic work is estimated to fall between 10% - 39% of a country’s total GDP, meaning in some countries it’s a larger portion of the economy than many other sectors like manufacturing or transportation. But the formal labour force participation of women has stagnated for the last 30 years, and the global gender wage gap will take us more than a century to close at the current rate of change.
We need leaders to introduce and enforce policies to reduce and redistribute unpaid care work which can be a game changer for women and girls around the world. This will create additional employment opportunities, improve access to social protection, increase the retention rate of girls in schools, and provide the foundation for the overall economic advancement of women and girls.
But we’ll only be able to make it happen with the support from Global Citizens everywhere. Sign this petition telling world leaders to fulfill the commitments made during the 2021 Generation Equality Forum.