Care is in crisis. The lion’s share of caregiving within and outside of families is done by women and they receive little to no pay, nor recognition for it. Women represent over 80% of childcare workers, over 90% of home care workers, and over 95% of domestic workers. Many of them are Black and migrant women. Their wages are at the bottom of economic distribution and current laws undermine their access to basic labor rights. Furthermore, women provide over 70% of full-time unpaid care work. That is, women providing care in the home receive no compensation and, moreover, give up jobs and economic autonomy to do it.
These care contradictions are at a breaking point. Care workers are organizing to ask for equal rights and better pay. Women and families are demanding collective responsibility over care, just as they are demanding labor alternatives that address care needs without economically bankrupting women. Women are saying enough to providing care for free, enough to providing care for poverty wages.
“After the Care Crisis” seeks to imagine alternative ways of organizing care that put an end to this deeply unjust system that relies on pervasive feminization, racialization, and devaluation. Researchers, activists, and policy advocates will discuss current contradictions in care work and ongoing campaigns looking to transform it in the direction of justice and equity.
Participants will include the United Home Care Workers’ of PA, the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance, the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, Hand in Hand the domestic employers’ network, researchers across the social sciences and humanities, and a keynote address by economist Nancy Folbre.