At the EWL Board of Administration meeting in May 2006, the European Women’s Lobby officially launched its "Who Cares?" campaign with the adoption of a Position Paper. This position paper focuses on the provision of affordable, accessible and high quality care services for all dependents, available to all women and men whatever their financial situation. Themes of the EWL Care Campaign include: Gender Stereotypes and Care, the Economics of Care: Provision of Affordable Care Services, Quality Work and Quality Care Services: Care and the Labour Market, the Case of Domestic Migrant Care Workers, and finally European Union Policies and Care. During the Care Campaign, an e-petition will be launched on the EWL website.
Care policies and the provision of care services are intrinsically related to the achievement of equality between women and men. The lack of affordable, accessible and high quality care services in most European Union countries and the fact that care work is not equally shared between women and men have a direct negative impact on women’s ability to participate in all aspects of social, economic, cultural and political life.
One prerequisite to achieve equality between women and men is for women to be economically independent. Many women’s personal goals include work and careers as well as being mothers, being in families and sustaining intimate relationships – but women have not had a major part in directly influencing the present political, social and economic systems which have shaped traditional gender roles and stereotypes, and which systematically obscure and undervalue the central importance of care in all of our lives. Women are particularly at risk of experiencing inequalities in employment directly because of their caring activities. Caring activities impact on women’s participation in working life, career advancement, the ability to work full-time, together with their ability for life-course integration into the labour market. The European Women’s Lobby is therefore launching a specific campaign on the provision of care services for children, older people and other dependents in Europe. Giving women better opportunities in professional life has to be seen as an asset an investment for society as a whole, especially in the context of current demographic changes and challenges in Europe.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT: