The structure of care work and inequalities among care workers
Policy Brief #2
Care work is already one of the most important 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.
It is widely accepted that unpaid care work is mostly – but not entirely – performed by women.
In this article, Professor Jayati Ghosh delineates the various inequalities directly and inherently linked to care. By addressing the distinctive symptoms characterising some of the most common features within care work, from unpaid to underpaid care, she aptly illustrates how the resulting gendered injustice stems from deeply rooted patriarchal structures. Moreover, by focusing on the modalities of care provision, she demonstrates the many inequalities among care workers themselves, the adverse working conditions characterising care work and the major tensions emerging from the globalisation of care that place care workers – most notably women and migrants – in a particularly vulnerable position.
About the Author
Department of Economics
Jawaharlal Nehru University