Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, women were performing more than three-quarters of all unpaid care work – equating to roughly 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work done by women every single day.
Although the issue is increasingly recognised, there remains little practical guidance on how to address its reduction and redistribution. One step to achieving this is through the provision of childcare services, which shift care responsibilities away from mothers and other unpaid carers to paid caregivers. In turn, this can contribute to the economic empowerment of women through improved access to labour market opportunities and greater agency over manageable workloads.
The ILO Lab has looked into programmes taking a market systems approach to developing childcare services, exploring the different ways that these programmes have addressed the issue as well as the key lessons learned for implementation.