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The problem that has no name - work, care and time

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The combined pressures of paid employment and caring for children and older relatives are intensifying relentlessly. They trap women, who usually take responsibility for caring, in low-paid, low-status 'part-time' jobs, often dependent on income support. Care workers, mainly women, are caught in the same trap. Current debates about care policy focus on how to make childcare and adult social care more affordable and accessible, but overlook the need to improve pay and conditions for care workers, as well as the gendered distribution of labour. The problem is largely invisible and should be named and addressed. While women now spend much more time in paid work than fifty years ago, this has not been matched by men spending more unpaid time caring for others. There are huge implications for equality and opportunity; for the quality and culture of family and workplace; for the way care is perceived and priced; and for the balance of power between women and men. The key to solving the problem may be found in the way we use, value and distribute paid and unpaid time.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-07-22

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