An approach to unpaid care work: few examples from the MENA region

What is it?

One of the main pillars in the Youth Participation and Employment program (YPE) is to advance the participation of young women in the labour force as well as improving their access to decent and dignified work. Young women suffer from multiple layers of impediments in the labour market, whether in terms of wage employment or self-employment. The ILO estimated that 73% of working-age women were reported to be outside of the paid labour force because of unpaid care responsibilities. Unpaid care work is therefore connected to a person’s access to decent work opportunities, and thus brings about issues such as the forceful pushing of women into the informal sector, part-time positions, and underpaid jobs, where they are denied fair protection and representation. With the objective of better understanding of the realities of unpaid work and its gendered division within communities and its link to women’s access to paid work, the YPE has conducted Rapid Care Analysis (RCA) in Morocco and Egypt. 


The RCA reports are being utilized by the YPE as a start of a longer process of awareness-raising on issues of distribution of care work in communities with the aim to reduce the time or labour required for daily housework and caring for people, and thus increase women’s access to paid work. The Rapid Care Analysis is a rapid assessment tool to improve the design of a wider programme through gathering evidence to promote the recognition of care work and the identification of practical interventions.

Oxfam has developed an overall paper about RCA work in the MENA region.

Oxfam has published an overview of the distribution of unpaid care work in Ma'an, southern Jordan’ so this can be seen as an example of methodology for a reference.

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