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Women’s care responsibilities

Women’s involvement in the workforce requires a shift in childcare and eldercare arrangements to alleviate the double burden that women face because of their work and family obligations.

Household labour can be strenuous and time-consuming and it can impact women’s capacity to seek and maintain gainful employment outside the household. Progress on supportive care arrangements and the recognition of women’s unpaid care work has been lagging. Consequently, women continue to face tough choices between balancing paid and unpaid work, which has implications for their empowerment and autonomy, their household income, and their well-being and that of their family. 

GrOW is supporting projects that seek to provide a deeper understanding of how and why women’s care responsibilities have an effect on their economic wellbeing, and that generate new evidence on the economic returns of expanding affordable and quality childcare options for poor women. 

Balancing unpaid care work and paid work in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa

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Unpaid care and women’s empowerment: Lessons from research and practice

Reducing and redistributing women’s burden of care starts by giving visibility to the uneven distribution of care inside the household. This brief presents effective interventions alongside policy recommendations.

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Balancing unpaid care work and paid work by women in Nepal

The nature of women’s paid and unpaid work in Nepal is explored, and the brief examines why the country is lagging behind in the social, economic, and political empowerment of women despite policy and programmatic progress on gender equality.

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From double burden of women to a “double boon”

The brief examines the causes and consequences of women’s double burden (paid work and unpaid care work) on the wellbeing of women and their children from low income households in India, as well as the potential of women’s economic empowerment programs.

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Improving childcare options to create better economic opportunities for women in Nairobi slums

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Can subsidized early child care promote women’s employment? Evidence from Kenya

This brief demonstrates how subsidizing child care for women in poor urban settings can be a powerful mechanism to improve women's employment outcomes and reduce gender inequalities in Africa.

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Picturing change through PhotoVoice: participatory evaluation of a daycare intervention in Kenya

PhotoVoice is a useful tool to see the impact of development projects through the eyes of individuals. This policy brief discusses the use of PhotoVoice in a participatory evaluation of subsidized daycare for mothers living in Nairobi’s Korogocho slum.

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What are the benefits of subsidized early childcare? Evidence from Kenya

Providing subsidized early childcare in an urban African slum produced important benefits, such as increasing earnings and free time for mothers and enabling older siblings to attend school. This brief demonstrates that these and other benefits far outweigh the costs.

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Learn about another GrOW project that has addressed paid and unpaid care work: The influence of affordable daycare on women’s empowerment in India