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Supporting parenting care/childcare facilities in markets to reduce unpaid care work for vulnerable businesswomen in Uganda

With support from the African Development Bank, the Ugandan government has launched a flagship initiative — the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Programme (MATIP) — aimed at establishing organized markets with registered vendors to enhance trading opportunities between rural and urban markets, including value addition. Over 10 such markets have been established across the country to date, with more than 60% of the beneficiaries being women. Childcare centres, known as parenting care facilities, are set up in each market to help women traders and entrepreneurs. There is a growing interest in finding tested and proven models that work for those who operate in unstructured markets, given that the most marginalized women continue to operate there. The need for childcare has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic because of the increased burden of unpaid care, which continues to take a huge toll on the most marginalized women.

As in many low-income contexts, little is known about sustainable childcare models that work for poor women in Uganda. Working closely with local governments, this project seeks to respond to this evidence gap. It will do so using a mixed-methods approach to test parenting care models that function for the women traders working in unstructured markets in Kampala. The project will also explore scalability, including private-public partnerships to ensure sustained impact. It also seeks to deepen the evidence base on whether and how reducing women’s unpaid care burden increases their productivity and income.

This project is supported under the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) East Africa initiative, jointly funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and IDRC. GrOW East Africa seeks to spur transformative change to advance gender equality in the world of work.

Project ID
Project Status
36 months
IDRC Officer
Annet Abenakyo Mulema
Total Funding
CA$ 687,200.00
Institution Country
ACE Policy Research Institute

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