Youth Panel on Unpaid Care Work

10 October

Over the world, women spend two to ten times as much time in unpaid care and domestic work. Moreover, this discrepancy relates to gender gaps in labour force participation, wages and job quality. A group of IYTT Youth Fellows is currently working on a policy proposal designed to alleviate such inequalities. As a part of this work, we have asked our Youth Panel to give us their thoughts on the issue.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the politics of unpaid care work is an area where opinions are strongly divided. When asked the question “Is it a democratic problem if some people do more unpaid care work than others?” the answers given are fairly equally divided, with a slight majority (58,3%) answering in the affirmative. One of these respondents explains “A lot of people in this situation often end up getting just a part-time job or even not getting one at all. As a result, a part of the population is significantly underpaid, as they get paid only for their official job and not for all the other work they do at home.” The respondent identifies the problem of not only having to do unapid work, but also how this prevents a person to hold another job.

On the other side of the fence, the following quote is representative: “[W]hat’s going on inside a household is dependent on one household’s decisions and intimacy. It is private and It has nothing to do with democracy.” Here we see the classic idea that politics should end at the doorstep of peoples homes.

The upcoming Policy Brief is based on ideas presented in the report from the International Youth Conference 2023 and in the IYTT Working Paper no. 4 by Youth Fellow Anita Samarini

Read the full survey here.