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Defining Care: conceptualisations and particularities

Policy Brief #1

Jayati Ghosh

Paper  1.01mb pdf
Defining Care: conceptualisations and particularities Image

Care work is already one of the most essential forms of human work across the world, and is likely to become even more significant in the coming years.

Yet, it is an area that has been neglected in terms of both academic study and active policy engagement. Even now, despite the continuing pandemic, investment in care continues to be hugely underprovided, especially by governments.

Therefore, this Care4Care Policy Brief Series gives center stage to a long-overseen phenomenon that deserves the fullest political relevance and attention. Prof. Jayati Ghosh identifies common challenges and possible good practices across countries, whilst drawing concrete recommendations to feed into national and EU level policy responses.

What activities constitute care work and what is the care economy?
One of the most arduous tasks when conceiving care lies with its very definition. This article offers a comprehensive conceptualisation of care and outlines the distinct characteristics that make it difficult to measure and compare to other forms of work. Prof. Jayati Ghosh first gives a historical overview of how work and care have been apprehended by international law, namely by the UN and ILO. The second part discusses the dangers and constraints that go along with the characteristics of care work and their implications for the gender earning gap, persistent inequalities in our society, and the contribution to economic growth.

About the Author

Jayati Ghosh
Department of Economics
Jawaharlal Nehru University

Publication Information

Type Policy Brief
Program Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
Posted 09/09/22
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