A target on unpaid care work has now been included in the final outcome document of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting growing awareness of its centrality to women’s rights, poverty and development. The Gender and Development Network sees this as a crucial step in the pursuit of gender equality and inclusive, sustainable development.
In all countries, recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid care work can have a major positive impact on achieving gender equality, realising women’s rights and meeting other development goals, by freeing up women’s time and boosting their social status, earning power and political participation.
Our new report provides evidence of the many benefits of tackling women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care work, and suggests practical proposals for implementation and indicators for measuring progress. While we suggest that the current wording of the proposed target could be improved, the recognition of unpaid care in this global development agenda would in itself represent an important advance, and therefore our main concern is to preserve its inclusion.
We call on the UN Secretary General and Member States to ensure that this major breakthrough is upheld and that the final Sustainable Development Goals include a strong target on unpaid care.