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Care Economy. The BRICS White Paper

Country: Russia
Status: Supported project
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Care economy is the sector of economy responsible for the provision of care and services. More specifically, it involves childcare, elder care, education, healthcare, and personal social and domestic services, provided in both paid and unpaid forms and within both formal and informal sectors.

The care economy comprehends those activities that people (mostly women) perform daily in their homes, including chores or taking care of other persons, such as infants or the elderly.

The care economy also includes social infrastructure related, in particular, to employment insurance, labour standards, the provision of paid sick leave, immigration policy measures and many others.

According to ILO, the care economy is growing as the demand for childcare and care for the elderly is increasing in all regions. It will thus create a great number of jobs in the coming years. However, care work across the world remains characterized by a void of benefits and protections, low wages or non-compensation, and exposure to physical, mental and, in some cases, sexual harm. It is clear that new solutions to care are needed on two fronts: in regard to the nature and provision of care policies and services, and the terms and conditions of care work.

In view of this the Russian Chapter of BRICS Women’s Business Alliance proposed to share best practices of BRICS partners in Care economy and to prepare a practically oriented document – «CARE ECONOMY. BRICS WHITE PAPER».

The Paper will include:

  • Sharing knowledge, views and best practices of care work; enabling new models of childcare and eldercare;
  • Technological and digital solutions for care work: innovative market-based solutions to recognize, reward, reduce and redistribute care activities;
  • Investments in care economy;
  • Decent work in the care economy; reducing gender stereotypes in the care work; establishing care work as a broadly respected profession; reducing informal sector in the Care economy;
  • Training, up-skilling of care workers;
  • Convenient and easy solutions to facilitate the burden of unpaid work;
  • Best practices of labour regulations and social support of care workers;
  • Private sector initiatives in care economy;
  • Sharing best practices in collecting, analyzing and disseminating sex-disaggregated data on paid and unpaid care work.

The White Paper is going to be presented to BRICS leaders and to be posted at the WBA Platform as a live document. All WBA members and partners will have an opportunity to supplement the document with new practices as necessary and needed.

Project’s leader: Natalia Strigunova, Head of the Department of International Cooperation, Public Communication, and Scientific Work of the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

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