Make Care Count: Unpaid and Underpaid Care Work Across Britain
This report focuses on the link between undervalued care work and poverty in Britain by putting the voices and lived experiences of those who do care work at the forefront. Care work, both paid and unpaid, is a vital social good and an essential human right. Despite its necessity and contribution, in Britain and globally, both paid and unpaid care work remain largely undervalued and under-rewarded, and receive too little investment. The undervaluing of care work can trap people in a vicious cycle of income poverty, time poverty, and exclusion from important services and infrastructure that affect them throughout their lives. Women do the vast majority of both paid and unpaid care work. As a consequence, they are disproportionately affected by the unequal distribution as well as the undervaluing of care work over the life course. The testimonies and voices of paid and unpaid carers presented in this report shed light on the rewarding aspects of caring, but also the financial, emotional and physical hardship associated with care work not being valued, supported and rewarded fairly and equally.
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