Since the 1970s, the feminist movement has been repeating a slogan that is more relevant today than ever: We women keep the world afloat!
This slogan clearly and simply captures some of the key ideas and concepts of the feminist economy: it asserts the existing fundamental relationship between the economy’s productive and reproductive areas; it champions the contributions made by domestic, reproductive and care work to sustaining life and the whole of society; and it denounces the situation of inequality and discrimination that women experience for having assumed the task of social reproduction, which encompasses an entire set of duties that are carried out mostly unpaid, with employment precariousness and a lack of social rights.
The data you will find in this section bear testimony to the unjust conditions in which care work is provided in our society. They confirm the truth behind the claim that we women keep the world afloat. The analysis we present here is based on the research work entitled Care economy and municipal policy: towards a democratisation of care work in Barcelona, conducted between September 2015 and December 2016. The report was compiled from the analysis of sources and different documents on the care economy and from in-depth interviews with people receiving or providing care who are linked to municipally run community spaces, facilities and projects, and professionals and other workers from the realm of the family.
We can confirm that responsibility for care work in our society falls to a very small number of people, who are mainly from the family environment and in most cases women: wives, daughters-in-law, mothers, sisters and daughters. A wholly insufficient and unsatisfactory care-provision model, where the main carer role is not freely chosen by the people fulfilling it and where the contributions made by the public administration and community spaces are still insignificant. A system that has a very negative impact on the personal trajectory of carers whose physical and mental health, personal and professional careers and present and future financial situations are negatively affected by this work overload.
Care work in numbers
Care work in numbers