On the first International Day of Care and Support, ILO calls for heavy investments in the care economy

GENEVA, 28th October, 2023 (WAM) – The international community will tomorrow, 29th October, observe the first International Day of Care and Support, which amplifies the need to invest in the care economy and to create robust, resilient and gender-responsive, disability-inclusive and age-sensitive care and support systems with full respect for human rights with a view to recognising, reducing, valuing and redistributing unpaid care and domestic work and support,

‘’Without care workers, there would be few services for pre-school children, older people, or those with disabilities. Without care workers, millions of people could not go to work. Which means parents not able to support their families, and businesses losing valuable talent,'' said Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, in a statement head of the Day.

He added;'' This is why, on this first ever International Day of Care and Support, the International Labour Organization calls for heavy investments in the care economy, and policies that guarantee maternity protection, parental leave, early childhood education and care, and long-term care services.''

Such policies, he explained, will support families, create as many as 300 million jobs, and help achieve gender equality.

‘’This is a day to celebrate carers, but it is also a day to push for change in the way we care,'' he concluded.

The United Nations have declared 29th October 2023 as the first International Day of Care and Support, stressing the need to recognise and value paid care work and care workers as essential workers and the need to adopt measures that combat gender stereotypes, and facilitate the transition from informal to formal work and decent work, including with regard to paid care and domestic work, and create quality jobs in the care economy and increase the rewards and representation of paid domestic workers.

According to ILO, the global care workforce comprises 249 million women and 132 million men. By 2030, the number of care recipients is predicted to reach 2.3 billion, driven by an additional 0.1 billion older persons and an additional 0.1 billion children aged 6 to 14 years. Women perform 76.2 per cent of the total amount of unpaid care work, 3.2 times more time than men.