Women's economic empowerment

Theme Id: 

Balancing paid work and unpaid care work

Eldis Subject Id: 

Poorly paid, backbreaking jobs on top of caring for families leave women drained not empowered

The new global synthesis report 'No Time to Rest' is now launched. It finds that national and local level women’s economic empowerment initiatives in developing countries are failing to capture the full physical, emotional and economic costs to women of balancing paid work with unpaid care duties.  It warns that unless the backbreaking drudgery of water carrying, fuel collection, cooking and caring is urgently addressed future global progress on women’s rights and gender equality could stall.

'You Cannot Live Without Money': Balancing Women’s Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work in Rwanda

This paper summarises the findings of mixed-methods research that was carried out in Rwanda as part of the ‘Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work: Successes, Challenges and Lessons for Women’s Economic Empowerment Programmes and Policies’ research project (2015–17). It reflects the voices and experiences of women and their household members participating in women’s economic empowerment (WEE) programmes across four sites in the rural districts of Musanze and Huye.

A Trapeze Act: Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work by Women in Nepal

This working paper seeks to examine the relationship between unpaid care work and paid work that women in low-income households in Nepal perform, and whether, and if so how, they are able to maintain a balance between the two. It also examines the causes and consequences of the double burden on the physical and emotional wellbeing of women and their children. Further, the paper aims to create knowledge about how different stakeholders such as family, community, employers and state can contribute to women’s economic empowerment such that their economic empowerment is optimised (women’s entry into paid work is enabled without deepening their time poverty or worrying about the quality of care received by their family), shared (across generations, so that other women/girls in the family are not left to bear the burden of care) and sustained (such that the quality of care provided to children improves as a result of their mother’s paid work).

'You Cannot Live Without Money': Women Balancing Paid Work and Unpaid Care Work in Rwanda

Rwanda's recent history has seen a variety of government and non-government programmes that have helped increase women’s political participation, awareness of rights and access to finance, and women’s involvement in off-farm activities and other forms of paid work, particularly in rural areas. However, balancing paid and unpaid work remains a daunting task for the majority of women surveyed in this research study.


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