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Across the globe, unpaid care and domestic work (UCDW) sustains communities and economies, provides essential care for children, sick and elderly people and those living with disabilities, and keeps households clean and families fed. Without unpaid care, the global economy as we know it would grind to a halt. Yet this work falls disproportionately on women and girls, limiting their opportunities to participate in decent paid employment, education, leisure and political life. Heavy and unequal UCDW traps women and girls in cycles of poverty and stops them from being part of solutions.

To help address this, Oxfam, together with a number of partners, has been working in over 25 countries to deliver the Women’s Economic Empowerment and Care (WE-Care) programme since 2013. WE-Care aims to reignite progress on gender equality by addressing heavy and unequal UCDW. By recognizing, reducing and redistributing UCDW, WE-Care is promoting a just and inclusive society where women and girls have more choice at every stage of their lives, more opportunities to take part in economic, social and political activities, and where carers’ voices are heard in decision making about policies and budgets at all levels.

This overview document aims to highlight the approaches taken and lessons learned on unpaid care that Oxfam has implemented in collaboration with partners in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

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