Wikiprogress Africa

This blog is written and maintained by the Wikiprogress Africa Network. This network, hosted by the OECD, aims to provide a platform for knowledge sharing on measuring progress and well-being in an African context.

Ce blog est administré et mis à jour par le réseau Wikiprogress Africa. Ce réseau, hébergé par l'OCDE, est une plateforme axée sur le partage de connaissances dans le domaine de la mesure du progrès et du bien-être des sociétés africaines.

jeudi 5 septembre 2013

Recognise, Redistribute, Reduce the Women's Unpaid Care Burden

Women in rural environments tends to do work that is not necessarily considered as natural/traditional and thus not qualified as so by the society. Unpaid care is defined by ActionAid as the work traditionally done in the home and in communities and range from the preparation of meals to the care given to children, ill and elderly.

ActionAid International Women’s Rights team piloted the women’s Unpaid Care Work Program in collaboration with ActionAid Kenya, UgandaNigeria and Nepal. This program is one of the ActionAid International’s contributions to the National Development Strategies of implementing countries.

Sometimes, women and girls living in poor communities have to forego their basic human rights to an education, healthcare, decent work and leisure time in order to balance all these many activities. This perpetuates gender inequality, reinforces inequitable gender norms and keeps women and girls in poverty.

The aim of the Unpaid Care Work program is:

  • To make visible women’s unpaid care work and its importance to the functioning of any society; so that it is valued by women, their communities and governments. 
  • To challenge the existing traditional development model that places little  value on care work and front a more equitable division of labour and equal  sharing of these responsibilities in the household between women and men,  boys and girls.
  • To propose an alternative gender responsive development model that recognizes and supports men, women, business, civil society organizations and the state actors to provide care in a way that does not unduly burden marginalized groups, especially women and girls. 
  • To advocate for formulation or review of mainstream economic policies that reduce the burden of women’s care work.

The project was implemented in four poor communities, two rural in Buseeta, Pallisa and two urban, Kampala city suburbs Wandegeya and  Bwaise. This helped establish the contextual difference between how rural and urban women and men spend their time in relation to care work activities. Through bimensal sessions, it showed progress in the recognition of this burden in the communities and by helping women dispose of capacities and skills likely to improve their socioeconomic conditions (particularly literacy)

The experience bore encouraging outcomes:
Women’s literacy skills have improved and they can read the words underneath the signs used in their diaries. Some women can now write their names and dates

Management of time has also improved with women entering into income generating activities. In Kampala, the women used this time to learn some basic entrepreneurial skills such as growing mushrooms, beading, savings and credit.

More importantly, there's an attitude change at the household level, women have gained greater appreciation by their husbands. The men have gone out of their comfort zones to support their wives in small chores (fetching water) although they remain reluctant to do the cooking and the dishes.

To learn more about this program and experience, please visit this website

Ousmane Aly DIALLO

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