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Panel discussion titled, “Caring for the Caregivers: Strengthening Voices of Care in the Global South” at the NGO Committee on the Status of Women (NGO CSW/NY)

IWWAGE along with its partner Observer Research Foundation (ORF) organized a panel discussion titled, “Caring for the Caregivers: Strengthening Voices of Care in the Global South” at the NGO CSW68 event on March 15th 2024. Our speakers spanned different geographies enriching the discussion. The CSW68 gathering provided a strong platform to carry forward global efforts to mainstream and meaningfully embed the care agenda in macroeconomic

Shamika Ravi, Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) set the context by emphasizing the critical nature of care work and the need to support women who are disproportionately affected by caregiving responsibilities especially as they explore work opportunities outside the household. She shared insights about the evolution of care-related policies in India highlighting the intention to make care a fundamental part of the economy. She also shed light on the fact that the Ministry of Women and Child Development has made serious efforts in the direction of care economy indicating the commitment in foregrounding “care”.



Taking the discussion forward, Sona Mitra, Director- Research and Policy, IWWAGE elaborated on the advocacy efforts aimed at centering care in policy discussions. She stressed on the importance of focusing on financing for care. Emphasizing on the need for investment strategies, she highlighted the need for identifying the different components of care and exploring different financing & investment channels that are necessary for effective care delivery.
The moderator, Sunaina Kumar, Senior Fellow, Observer Research Foundation took forward points made by Shamika Ravi by highlighting the increased demand for care due to globally shifting demographic trends, increasing young and aging populations, along with the emergence of more nuclear families. She underscored the intrinsic and instrumental value of caregiving and is is at the heart of human societies, families, and the future of our economies.



Speaking of the Brazilian experience, Luciana Servo, President, I-AER Institute of Applied Economic Research discussed the need for advocacy around care in the country and the importance of bringing in the care workers as stakeholders in the process of policy making. She focussed on the need for addressing lingering gender norms and advocating for policy innovation and international cooperation to address financing challenges. She also talked about how the challenges are bigger and the opportunities are smaller in terms of financing and that’s where the role of international cooperation and multilateralism is important. It was also inspiring to hear that Brazil is thinking of bringing in the care workers as stakeholders in the process of policy making.



Gloria Lang’at emphasized the universal importance of care while highlighting its under-resourced nature, particularly in terms of investment and caregiver remuneration. She also spoke of the need for highlighting the role of the community in the care economy as well as greater inclusion of geriatric care and care for the disabled in these discussions.

Brett Weisel, Global Policy and Advocacy Lead, Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) stressed on the interconnectedness of outcomes for women and children, advocating for purposeful linkage of agendas to form powerful political coalitions. He also emphasized the importance of gender-transformative and child-centered systems and grassroots advocacy to support caregivers effectively.

For those interested, a recording of the session is available for viewing.: