Developing Care: Recent Research on the Care Economy and Economic Development

Policy makers are beginning to appreciate the constraints that unpaid care work imposes on both economic development and the empowerment of women in low-income countries. Empirical research on these topics is in its infancy but is already yielding significant results. This paper contextualizes and reviews recent research on unpaid care work in the Global South, with a particular focus on projects funded through the multi-donor Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) program and other care-related research supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). These projects use national time-use survey data, mixed-methods field research including qualitative interviews, and experimental and quasi-experimental methods to compare women’s unpaid care burdens in a variety of developing country contexts, including China, India, Kenya, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

– Nancy Folbre, The International Development Research Centre of Canada

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