One-in-three in the EU works as unpaid carer

One-in-three in the EU works as unpaid carer

We’ve not yet seen a meaningful or fairer redistribution of unpaid care duties within EU households, the European Institute for Gender Equality says in a pre-view of its Equality Index that will be published in October, Today, one-in-three people across the EU are unpaid informal carers for family members or friends in need due to health problems and/or disability.

The annual index will this year focuses on the COVID-19 pandemic and care.

“Caring for those we love is fulfilling, but it soon turns into a burden when it is not fairly shared or when good and affordable care systems do not exist”, says EIGE’S Director, Carlien Scheele, says in a statement.

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“The European Commission’s new care strategy will announce EU-level action to strengthen long-term care and early childhood education. Member States need to address the significant gender gaps in unpaid care and provide robust care systems to avoid inequality gaps from widening further”.

Key findings:

  • Women are more than twice as likely as men to provide the bulk of childcare for under-12s.
  • Housework and care are not shared equally within homes and continue to be mostly done by women.
  • Women rely less on external childcare support and essential care services such as from day care centres and schools, compared with men.

EIGE says:

  1. Member States should invest in high quality care infrastructure to help overcome existing gender inequalities, while reducing the pay and pensions gap.
  2. Businesses should offer flexible working arrangements that allow men to care and women to advance their careers.
  3. All of us should strive to overcome gender stereotypes and widen options and choices to support women and men in finding the best care and best life balance.
Read Also:  EU platform for gender equality closing down


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