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Care Manifesto: Rebuilding the social organization of care

We’re joining in with a global movement calling to rebuild the social organization of care. It is time to recognize the social and economic value of care work (paid or not) and the human right to care.

Sign the manifesto.

About the Care Manifesto

At the center of these crises is the care work historically shouldered by women. Care is the daily reproduction of life, the foundation upon which life itself exists – human and planetary – and economies function.

The current social organisation of care: how care needs are met; the interrelation of unpaid care work, (under) paid care work, public provisioning, private provisioning and community based care arrangements is fundamentally unbalanced, unequal and ultimately unsustainable. It places the burden, the weight, and the majority of the work necessary on women’s care and domestic work.

At home and within communities, through global care chains where women living in poverty, black and brown women from the Global South fill in the care gap while being underpaid and in precarious work conditions through services, both public and private. This injustice is doubled and tripled in the case of women who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination because of their class, race, sexual orientation/ identification, disability, age or migrant status, amongst other dimensions.

States often excuse their failure to realize women’s rights by citing their lack of financial resources. The broken international tax system – and the neoliberal economic system at large – continues to facilitate extraction of wealth from the people – in particular from the Global South – while concentrating it into the hands of an elite few – mostly men in the Global North.

Meanwhile, deregulation, privatization, fiscal consolidation (austerity) and crushing neo-colonial debt burdens further entrench these extreme power imbalances between women and men, Global South and Global North, workers and corporations. This depletes global and local resources to fund quality public care services and allow for decent, well paid care work and universal social protection.

Within this context, regressive national tax policies, often encouraged or imposed by international financial institutions, undermine States’ responsibility to provide public services that ensure rights.

We demand an end to the dominant paradigm and economic system that not only undermines women’s rights but exacerbates gender inequality. We demand an end to States’ lack of willingness, resource allocations, and capacity to organise care as a public good. We reject and challenge the corporate capture of many of the States who are failing to comply with their obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. We demand that States resource care as a public good and a collective social responsibility, rather than a household’s “private” responsibility which mainly falls to women. This path leads to the breakdown of humanity and the planet, as it breaks down women. We must end it now!

We call for crafting a global movement to rebuild the social organisation of care joining forces to:

  • Recognise the social and economic value of care work (paid or not) and the human right to care.
  • Reward and remunerate care work with equal pay for work of equal value, decent pensions, dignified working conditions and comprehensive social protection.
  • Reduce the burden of unpaid care work on women.
  • Redistribute care work within households, among all workers, eliminating the sexual division of labour and between households and State.
  • Reclaim the public nature of care services and restore the duty and the primary responsibility of the State to provide public care services and develop care systems that transform gender relations and women’s lives – including by financing State´s capacity to invest through fair and progressive taxation and ensuring internationally equal taxing rights of nation States.