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Website of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty & Human Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/SRExtremePovertyIndex.aspx

 

UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON EXTREME POVERTY

REPORT TO THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY 2013

 

WOMEN AS CAREGIVERS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN IN POVERTY

 

Direct Link to Full 24-Page Report:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Poverty/Pages/AnnualReports.aspx

Report of Focus Is at the Top on the Special Rapporteur Extreme Poverty Annual Reports Page - Click to UN Official Language of Choice.

"3. For the purposes of this report, unpaid care work includes domestic work (meal preparation, cleaning, washing clothes, water and fuel collection) and direct care of persons (including children, older persons and persons with disabilities, as well as able-bodied adults) carried out in homes and communities."

Summary

In the present report unpaid care work is positioned as a major human rights issue. Focusing on women caregivers, particularly those living in poverty, the Special Rapporteur argues that heavy and unequal care responsibilities are a major barrier to gender equality and to womenís equal enjoyment of human rights, and, in many cases, condemn women to poverty. Therefore, the failure of States to adequately provide, fund, support and regulate care contradicts their human rights obligations, by creating and exacerbating inequalities and threatening womenís rights enjoyment.

The report analyses the relationship between unpaid care and poverty, inequality and womenís human rights; clarifies the human rights obligations of States with regard to unpaid care; and finally provides recommendations to States on how to recognize, value, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work. Ultimately, it argues that State policies should position care as a social and collective responsibility, in particular through improving womenís access to public services, care services and infrastructure.

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E. Promoting Empowerment of Unpaid Caregivers

106. In order to uphold their right to participation, tackle gender stereotypes and create an enabling environment for the more equal sharing of unpaid care work, States must take concerted action to meaningfully empower unpaid caregivers.

107. Care users, caregivers and other stakeholders should be proactively supported to participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of care services and other relevant policies. States and other relevant branches of Government must build the capacity of unpaid caregivers to participate in decision-making processes, including by providing them with accessible, up-todate information about their rights, and services and benefits available to them.

Participatory mechanisms must be designed to be accessible to women living in poverty with unpaid care responsibilities, for example by providing on-site childcare at meetings.

108. Support, including financial support, should be given to the work of womenís organizations and menís groups challenging the gender norms that allocate responsibility for care work to women and girls.

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