Balancing unpaid care work and paid work

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST) in India and BRAC's East Africa Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) in Uganda, along with ActionAid International (AAI) and Oxfam GB, are running one of the projects within the Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW) programme.

The 27-month 'Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women's economic empowerment programmes and policies' project aims to create knowledge about how women's economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate paid work that empowers women and provides more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities.

Research will take place in four countries across two regions: India and Nepal in South Asia, and Rwanda and Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The research addresses the following questions

  • How do women and families in low-income households balance unpaid care work with income-earning activities?
  • How, and to what extent, do women's economic empowerment programmes and policies consider unpaid care tasks?
  • How can these programmes and policies enable women's participation in paid work, and sustain their incomes, while ensuring good quality childcare for low-income families?

Previous research has focused on the time women spend on care work and other unpaid contributions to the economy. This project seeks to fill research gaps by focusing on the social and economic implications of how care is organised. It will examine how women's empowerment policies and programmes affect the organisation of care. The aim is to inform policies that consider care arrangements while also increasing women's participation in the labour force.

Read more about the GrOW programme on IDRC's website.

Find out more about this project and see the research results and engagement actvities in real-time on the Interactions on Gender Justice website.

Key contact

Photo of Deepta Chopra, IDS Governance and Gender / Sexuality Research Fellow

T: +44 (0)1273 915808

E: d.chopra@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Beth Mudford, Communications team

T: +44 (0)1273 915655

E: b.mudford@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Brigette Rohwerder

T: +44 (0)1273 915787

E: b.rohwerder@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Caroline Martin, Governance Team Administrative Coordinator

T: +44 (0)1273 915713

E: c.martin@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team

E: c.mueller@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Elaine Mercer, Editorial Coordinator, Bridge

T: +44 (0)1273 915816

E: e.mercer@ids.ac.uk

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Elena Zambelli, Research Officer for the Governance research cluster at IDS

E: e.zambelli@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Emilie Wilson

T: +44 (0)1273 915779

E: e.wilson@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Keetie Roelen, Research Fellow in the Centre for Social Protection, IDS

T: +44 (0)1273 915824

E: k.roelen@ids.ac.uk

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Photo of Peter Mason

T: +44 (0)1273 915820

E: p.mason@ids.ac.uk

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A Trapeze Act: Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work by Women in Nepal

IDS Working Paper 500 (2017)
Ghosh, A.; Singh, A.; Chigateri, S.; Chopra, D.; Müller, C.

‘You Cannot Live Without Money’: Balancing Women’s Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work in Rwanda

IDS Working Paper 498 (2017)
Rohwerder, B.; Müller, C.; Nyamulinda, B.; Chopra, D.; Zambelli, E.; Hossain, N.

‘My Work Never Ends’: Women’s Experiences of Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work through WEE Programming in India

IDS Working Paper 494 (2017)
Zaidi, M., Chigateri, S., Chopra, D. and Roelen, K.

‘How Can It Be a Problem If You Need Them Both?’ Women Juggling Paid and Unpaid Care Work in Tanzania

IDS Working Paper 495 (2017)
Zambelli, E., Roelen, K., Hossain, N., Chopra, D. and Twebaze Musoke, J.

Making Rwanda’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme Public Works Care-Responsive

(2017)
Murphy-McGreevey, C., Roelen, K. and Nyamulinda, B.

Making Karnali Employment Programme More Care-Responsive

(2017)
Ghosh, A., Singh, A., Chigateri, S.

Partner researchers

Contact:
Rachel Moussie
Contact:
James Butare
Contact:
Jenipher Torch (Lead)
Contact:
Anweshaa Ghosh
Contact:
Mubashira Zaidi
Contact:
Shraddha Chigateri (Lead)
Contact:
Thalia Kidder
Contact:
Sudha Khadka
Contact:
Jackline Mlay
Project Dates:
January 2015 - September 2017
Project Status:
Open
Funder:
UKaid
Hewlett Foundation
International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
Research Themes / Programmes:
Gender
Reducing Inequalities