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Bringing the care economy to the Women Deliver agenda

The need to reduce, redistribute, recognize and reward care work is a key issue that IDRC is championing globally. IDRC has supported two regional events on care work leading up to the Women Deliver 2023 conference, a global gathering for gender equality in Kigali, Rwanda, from July 17–20, 2023.
Social media card with the image of a woman store owner preparing baby formula. Text: Advancing Southern solutions for gender equality. The care economy. Women Deliver 2023 Conference.

Held on June 22 and 23, 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, the Asia-Pacific Care Economy Forum showcased innovative private and public-sector care delivery models that can help address the disproportionate responsibility for care work that falls on women as well as the lack of recognition and value given to this work. Participating entrepreneurs, investors and representatives from business, government and organizations that support entrepreneurship discussed innovative community and market-based solutions for gender equality in the care economy, including the promise and challenges of digital platforms. For highlights and recommendations, read the report published by UN Women

The development of care innovations drives several IDRC investments and partnerships, such as the Transforming the Care Economy through Impact Investing initiative and a parallel grant with the Visa Foundation to jointly strengthen private sector innovations in the care economy in Asia. As part of this initiative, IDRC and the Visa Foundation announced at the Forum the 13 entrepreneurs who will participate in the second Care Accelerator program run by the Swiss Association For Entrepreneurship In Emerging Markets and BopInc, in partnershp with the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. 

IDRC also supported the Women Deliver regional dialogue for the Americas, hosted by the Women’s Secretariat of the City of Bogota, Colombia, on June 29 and 30, 2023. CoreWoman, an IDRC partner that has been mapping business models in the care economy sector in Latin America for impact investing, has organized, together with IDRC, a series of events during the dialogue. IDRC and CoreWomen launched a report on the role of the private sector in transforming the care economy

A large group of people stand in front of a painted mural
Women’s Secretariat of the City of Bogota

In partnership with the office of the Mayor of Bogota, CoreWoman also commissioned a street mural to recognize care work. The mural features two women workers in the care economy. Its unveiling was part of conference-goers’ visit to one of the city’s care blocks, where caregivers can access municipal services such as professional training, wellness and income-generating activities and care-seekers can access professional care and recreational activities. The care blocks are part of Bogota’s innovative city-level care system aimed at providing integrated, accessible care economy services to the citizens who need them most. 

Recommendations from these two regional events will be presented at a pre-conference event on the care economy in Kigali on July 16, 2023, co-hosted by IDRC and more than a dozen organizations.