Struggles of Paid and Unpaid Care Workers During COVID

TEXT: Sabin Selimi – 31. March 2021

Rising demand for care during the COVID-19 crisis and response will likely deepen already existing inequalities in the gender division of labor, placing a disproportionate burden on women. So far, attention has rightly focused on the health system and women’s overrepresentation among paid healthcare workers. However, other less visible parts of the care economy are coming under increasing strain and are largely neglected by policymakers.

The economic impacts of the pandemic are affecting the most vulnerable care workers, especially those in low-paid and precarious jobs, those in the informal sector and those who have little or no financial reserves.

Care work is an essential component for sustainable economic development with a productive labor force. This work ensures the complex and life-sustaining web upon which our very existence depends.

Women shoulder a disproportionate share of unpaid work in Eastern Europe, the Western Balkans and beyond. Gender imbalances in the distribution of care work constitute a root cause of women’s economic and social disempowerment.

Learn more with Gëzime Rexhepi, director of the private kindergarten Bardha in Prishtina, Kosovo; Dr. Sc. Martina Pezer, researcher at the Institute of Public Finance in Zagreb, Croatia; and Sanja Arizanov, consultant and founder of BabySitting Service in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Learn more with Gëzime Rexhepi, director of the private kindergarten “Bardha” in Prishtina, Kosovo; Dr. Sc. Martina Pezer, researcher at the Institute of Public Finance in Zagreb, Croatia; and Sanja Arizanov, consultant and founder of BabySitting Service in Skopje, North Macedonia.

Sabin Selimi works for Helvetas as Communication Manager in the RECONOMY Regional Programme. 

This article appeared in the March 2021 issue of Helvetas MosaicSubscribe to never miss an issue.

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