Women’s economic empowerment and unpaid care work: Asia

Policy brief: A case for centring unpaid care work within regional frameworks.

Executive summary

The promotion of women’s economic empowerment is an issue that is being increasingly focused on by different actors and policies across South Asia. However, the gendered nature and unequal burden of unpaid care work is a key challenge to this, particularly for women in rural areas.

In response to this challenge, a policy briefing has been developed as part of ActionAid’s five-year multi-country POWER project. This is the second in a planned series of policy and research papers. It provides an analysis of the current policies and practices across South Asia that relate to rural women’s economic empowerment, especially the inclusion of the issue of Unpaid Care Work. There is a particular focus on the countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.

It considers the successes and the gaps, and identifes opportunities for improvement. It also seeks to link unpaid care work and women’s economic empowerment with the issue of violence against women.