Care Is An Economic Issue: Addressing Gender Inequalities in Care Work

International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific writes:

Ipek Ilkkaracan is Professor of Economics at Istanbul Technical University, a founding member of Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR) – New Ways and a member of IWRAW Asia Pacific’s advisory committee. She coined the term ‘purple economy’ to convey the need for an economic model which recognises care work. Without it, the sustainability of human societies will be threatened.
The current free market system is such that those who provide unpaid care work (mostly women) are penalised in market terms, and those who do not (mostly men) are rewarded.
The purple economy entails four pillars aimed at recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work. When care work is left to private markets/solutions, the only women who have the option of pursuing a career are from the higher-income households that can afford market substitutes for care. This is not
simply an issue of gender, but of class, too.The international migration of domestic workers is the epitome of multi-layered inequalities when the care economy is left to private markets/solutions.

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