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Literature review of women's economic empowerment and the care economy

July 10, 2013

In partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, IDRC is launching a call for research proposals on Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) - generating evidence on women's economic empowerment, gender equality and growth in low-income countries. 

Research shows that women face particular challenges in engaging in work outside the home because of their dual role as caregivers and breadwinners, and the lack of recognition given to their care responsibilities. To shed light on these challenges and ensure that new research on the topic is informed by past and ongoing research, IDRC prepared an annotated bibliography of recent literature on the care economy.

While much literature exists on the care economy across the globe, our review indicates that Africa is relatively underserved. It also reveals that research has been carried out on countries with different income levels and that policy issues remain pertinent as countries move up the income ladder. Existing research also shows the importance of distinguishing different types of care, whether of the elderly or of children, and how the care economy is conceptualized differently in sociology, social policy, feminist scholarship, and quantitative studies.

Read the literature review on Women's Economic Empowerment and the Care Economy