In a nutshell
- A robust care economy is critical to supporting women’s employment, both as an employer of women and as a mechanism to redistribute unpaid care work onto the market.
- The care economy has been shrinking as a share of total employment over the period 2009-2021.
- The shrinking of the care economy has been driven by the retreat of the public sector. While private sector care employment has grown, it has not done so sufficiently to compensate for the retreat of the public sector.
- Working conditions, including social insurance coverage (formality) have deteriorated over time in the care economy, due in part to privatization.
- While initially there was a care-pay premium, a care-pay gap has now formed.
- Sustainable funding commitments are essential to ensuring access to high-quality care and decent working conditions for care workers.