World Bank criticised for overlooking care work

23 January 2014

A November 2013 working paper by US-based NGO Gender Action and the UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) reports a wide gap between World Bank rhetoric and project implementation in the area of unpaid care work. The paper analysed 36 employment-related Bank projects approved between 2008 and 2012 in Malawi, Mali, Niger and Rwanda. While the 2012 World Development Report on gender emphasises initiatives to free up women’s time, out of the projects reviewed in the study 92 per cent “fail to explicitly account for unpaid care work in project design”.

A research paper published by the international NGO ActionAid in February 2013 found that “women’s responsibility for care leads to the violation of their basic human rights to an education, political participation, decent work and leisure. It contributes to persistent gender inequalities”.