Formulating public policies in the field of care work is a pioneering initiative as it means intervening in one of the most invisibilised areas of social life: the current organisation of domestic, reproductive and care work.

The way in which the whole array of care-related work and social reproduction are dealt with in our society remains very obscure, and it is one of the spheres of social and economic life that creates the highest incidence of inequality and discrimination on the grounds of sex, origin and social class.

Government Measure for Democratising Care Work (2017–2020) was created with a transformational and feminist vocation. It is initiative led by the councillors for Feminism and LGBTI Affairs, Social Rights and Health at Barcelona City Council, and promoted by the Commissioner for Cooperative, Social and Solidarity Economy.

It aims not just to launch a social awareness campaign that recognises the contribution made mostly by the women in families and households to sustaining life and the well-being of the whole of society, but also to implement initiatives geared towards a fairer distribution of the responsibility of care work to make Barcelona a true caring city.

The measure consists of 68 initiatives and seeks to achieve the following medium- and long-term goals:

  • To promote a transformational way of socially organising care work.
  • To enhance and raise the profile of care work as a central part of the city's socioeconomic life.
  • To promote the shared responsibility of the different social stakeholders to ensure the right to receive and provide decent, quality care.
  • To reduce the social and gender inequalities that typify the current model for providing and receiving care.

A political and feminist agenda for care

Promoting the city's care economy from a clearly feminist perspective is certainly a great challenge. It means constructing a fairer model for organising care work, one that is more egalitarian and capable of ensuring the rights of the people who provide or receive care.

Our aim with this government measure is to help to move towards a new way of organising care work that is fairer and more egalitarian, while establishing specific initiatives and key tools for implementing a transformational public policy.

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