Economy / Employment - - Europe

A purple economy: The Case for placing the economics of care at the heart of sustainable development

26.01.2018 / Created by (EMWF)

In the current financialised capitalism, under which many women entered the labour market, reproductive activities such as child care, care of the elderly, and house cleaning are organised to a large extent via paid labour and are continuously commodified. These changes are primarily a response to needs generated by women’s increased participation in the labour market and not as a response to feminist claims. Yet these developments did not change the gender division of labour: women make up the majority of the workforce devoted to care work, which tends to be, in turn, less well remunerated. Women face a double burden since they are engaged in paid work and additionally do most of the unpaid housework. In addition, the integration of many women into the labour market relies on a class and ethnic/racial divide among women: caring activities, such as house cleaning or child and elderly care, are often carried out by women migrant workers, many from Eastern Europe or the Global South, many of whom had to leave their families behind to provide care for others.

This paper proposes a set of recommendations and stresses that macro-economic policies must be gendered.


  • Type of publication : Study / Report
  • Author : Anna Sofia Fernandes
  • Publishing house : The New Economics Foundation
  • Publication date : 2017
  • Number of pages : 20
  • Language : English


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