Skip to main content

Women and Care Work

Since 2017, the Wilson Center's Maternal Health Initiative - in partnership with EMD Serono, the healthcare business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany - have highlighted the gendered burden of caregiving work through blog articles, public dialogues, and publications.

Care work makes all other work possible. It is also the fastest-growing sector of work in the world—projected to add 150 million jobs by 2030. Globally, women and girls contribute more than 70 percent of total global caregiving hours (paid and unpaid) and perform more than 75 percent of unpaid care work. The inordinate amount of unpaid care work women and girls perform prevents them from earning a paid income, which contributes to greater gender inequities worldwide. The global care economy—the paid and unpaid labor related to caregiving such as childcare, elder care, and domestic chores—is a critical sector that enhances economic growth, gender equity, and women’s empowerment. Care work is economically valuable but globally undervalued.