Civil society, public and private sector discuss care economy policies in Türkiye
To bolster policy dialogue and contribute to policy making in the field of care work and care economy, UN Women Türkiye organized the ‘Policy Dialogue Series on Care Work and Care Economy in a Post-COVID-19 World’ within the project “Strong Civic Space for Gender Equality” funded by the European Union.
Globally, women on average spend 4.1 hours a day on unpaid care and domestic work, compared to 1.7 hours a day spent by men. However, COVID-19 has significantly increased the burden of household and care work especially for women.
In response to this issue, UN Women Türkiye started the ‘Policy Dialogue Series on Care Work and Care Economy in Post-Covid-19 World’ aimed at bolstering policy discussion and exchange in the field of care work and care economy with the goal of ‘building back equal’ from the pandemic.
The series are organized within the framework of the project “Strong Civic Space for Gender Equality” implemented by UN Women with financial support from the European Union.
Convened four times between 2021 and 2022, with a total of 116 participants, the dialogues offer a space and experience sharing platform for civil society organizations (CSOs), government institutions, academia, private sector and local authorities to discuss and influence care economy policies.
The dialogues have focused on different thematic areas of care work and economy such as the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on care work, importance of investments in care, partnerships in the implementation of care policies and service, the status of elderly support and care services in Türkiye.
“Inequalities in care labour and care economy have been exacerbated during the pandemic. As the European Union, the inputs we collect from different partners through these Policy Dialogue Series will help us determine how to orient our support to civil society in this sector,” says Laura Fallavollita, Program Officer and Team Coordinator from the Delegation of the European Union to Türkiye.
“We need a shift towards valuing care work and redistributing it more fairly, so the burden is not carried disproportionately by women. Given the big importance, high cost and multi-dimensionality of care, partnerships at all levels – be it at the local, national and international levels – as well as public, private, civil society partnerships, are vital,” says Asya Varbanova, UN Women Türkiye Country Director.
The Policy Dialogue Series have also been an opportunity for CSOs to establish dialogue with academia and public institutions and reach sources and knowledge on care work and economy.
“The Policy Dialogue Series contributes to better policy making on care work and care economy by facilitating increased access to information with inclusive expert presentations, and increased interaction among the various actors with high-quality discussions. As a prerequisite of participatory policymaking, access and interaction made possible in these series might as well inspire further inter-institutional collaboration for better gender equality policies,” says Dr. Itır Akdoğan, one of the participants of the series from the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), an independent think-tank aiming to develop policy recommendations in relation to social and political problems.
“Investments in care economy promote gender equality in unpaid care work and further create employment demand, reduce unemployment, support the fight against poverty, ensure inclusive and sustainable growth,” says Prof. İpek İlkkaracan, an expert on care economy and moderator of the Policy Dialogue Series.
UN Women will continue to organize the ‘Policy Dialogue Series on Care Work and Care Economy in Post-Covid-19 World’ to discuss different topics on care work and care economy.