Ursula Barry

Gender Equality, the Care Economy, and the EU Covid-19 Recovery Fund

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: care economy, gender equality, Covid-19, care workers, long-term care, genderbased violence, valuing care, unpaid work, EU countries, EU Recovery Fund

Based on research commissioned by the FEMM Committee of the European Parliament (published in 2021), this article explores the impact of Covid-19 on the care economy, gender equality, and the newly established EU Covid-19 Recovery Fund. Gendered impacts of Covid-19 are explored focusing on the care systems of nine selected EU societies, and highlighting poor conditions, particularly among workers in – mainly private – long-term care congregated facilities for older people. Research data documenting increased gendered inequalities in the home (arising from the withdrawal of, or restrictions of care, health, and educational services), as well as evidence of increased gender-based violence, are drawn together. The establishment of a substantial EU Recovery Fund ringfencing significant funding for the EU green and digital economies, but without equivalent supports for the care economy is documented. This study concludes that 30% of EU recovery funds should be designated for the care economy to create more equal funding status with the green and digital economies.

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