In recent years, ongoing conflicts and crises coupled with demographic changes have spurred the urgent need for policy action and financing to support a resilient and gender-transformative care economy.
With rising childcare, eldercare, and/or disability care needs, the demand for care workers has increased in much of the world; yet, care worker shortages and decent work deficits are persistent. There is a critical need for evidence-based, robust, and inclusive care policies that increase access to affordable and quality care services, establish the value of and change norms regarding care work, put the voices of care recipients and workers at the center of decision-making, and incentivize greater investment in the care economy.
An effective care ecosystem requires meaningful collaboration between governments, the private sector, civil society, care workers, and individual households. To support this collaboration and to build on the momentum of the 2022 Bali Care Economy Dialogue, the Women Deliver Pre-Conference on the Care Economy was convened to bring together these stakeholders for an action-oriented dialogue. By focusing on policy that influences different dimensions of care, the Pre-Conference aimed to generate recommendations that will build a sustainable, gender-transformative, and resilient care economy for all.
The day-long Pre-Conference was held on 16 July 2023, in the lead-up to the Women Deliver 2023 Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. The event was designed to:
- Identify gaps and opportunities for concrete, tangible policy action and offer a consolidated Global Roadmap for Action on the Care Economy that synthesizes past convenings and supports accountability.
- Identify opportunities to elevate the care agenda across global platforms with concrete policy asks, such as the G20, G7, APEC, etc. and develop synergies between platforms.
- Generate a practical discussion regarding the potential of adaptation and scaling of existing regional, national, and local best practices to different regions and countries.
- Propel and leverage investment across governments, the private sector, and donors in promising models and for civil society organizations leading on care justice.
- Strengthen joint learning, knowledge sharing, and movement building amongst a diverse set of actors, to support collaborative and transformative movements for care justice.
The Pre-Conference allowed for in-depth discussions on different elements of the care economy, where participants delved into the specific actions that are needed to advance the care economy. Each session featured a set of recommendations and action items, which will feed into a larger Global Roadmap for Action for the Care Economy and will serve as a tool for policymakers, advocates, researchers, and donors moving forward.
The WD2023 Care Economy Pre-Conference was hosted by Women Deliver, The Asia Foundation, Center for Global Development, WeProsper, International Labour Organization (ILO), United States Office of Global Women’s Issues, The Cadmus Group, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Equimundo: Center for Masculinities and Social Justice, International Rescue Committee (IRC), Global Alliance for Care, Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN), City Government of Bogotá, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Pro Mujer, UN Women Asia-Pacific Regional Office, FEMNET, Moving Minds Alliance (MMC), MenCare: A Global Fatherhood Campaign, and Sonke Gender Justice.