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From promises to action: shifting gender norms and public perceptions about unpaid care work in workplaces and families in Uganda


Unpaid care work, which is disproportionately carried out by women because of unequal gender and social norms, is often invisible and undervalued in policy and economic contexts despite its fundamental importance to the functioning of society. With added childcare responsibilities following school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising demand to care for the sick, women continue to shoulder much of society’s unpaid care work. In Uganda, while women are increasingly participating in the labour market, unpaid care work remains a key barrier to further advances in this area. In 2018, women’s participation in paid work was 44.9% compared to 53.7% for men. COVID-19 is expected to widen the gap.

Shifting such norms and enhancing the redistribution of care responsibilities by fostering male engagement is essential for achieving gender equality in the world of work. It is also integral to efforts to build back better as governments and the international community respond to the fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a mixed-methods approach that combines randomized control trials with qualitative insights, this project will explore what works and what is scalable in shifting gender norms, public perceptions, and attitudes related to unpaid care work and gender-based violence in Uganda.

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.

Identificador del Proyecto
Estado de Proyecto
36 months
Funcionario del IDRC
Annet Abenakyo Mulema
Total del financiamiento
CA$ 700,100.00
País de la Institución
Líder del proyecto
Grace Kyomuhendo
Economic Policy Research Centre