Policy Brief

Women’s Economic Engagement and Childcare: Moving from Survival to a ‘Triple Boon’

Published on 9 October 2019

Women’s childcare responsibilities are often seen as a barrier to them undertaking paid work. However, this is a two-way interaction, mediated by large quantities of unpaid work.

Women thus find themselves in a downward spiral of a ‘triple burden’ consisting of (a) time‑consuming, yet unpaid work with no economic returns to them; (b) informal and back‑breaking low-paid work; and (c) supervisory childcare and domestic tasks like cooking, cleaning, and fetching water and fuel. This policy brief provides recommendations to reverse this spiral to achieve a ‘triple boon’ such that women are able to engage economically in decent paid work; undertake less drudgerous unpaid work tasks with control over any economic returns; and receive support for redistributing their childcare and domestic chores.

Find out more

This briefing was produced as part of the Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work project – view all our papers, reports, videos and “Time to Care” animation on our Empowerment of Women and Girls website.

Cite this publication

Chopra, D.; Nazneen, S. and Krishnan, M. (2019) 'Women’s Economic Engagement and Childcare: Moving from Survival to a "Triple Boon" ', Policy Brief, Brighton: IDS

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Image of Deepta Chopra
Deepta Chopra

Research Fellow

Image of Sohela Nazneen
Sohela Nazneen

Research Fellow

Meenakshi Krishnan

Doctoral Researcher

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