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Our Work in The Care Sector

Donor

OXFAM, GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA

Implement Partners

KUDHEIHA

Implement location

KIAMBU, NAIROBI, MOMBASA

Care work can be both unpaid or paid, and includes: direct care of people, such as looking after a child or taking care of adults who are sick or frail; indirect care or domestic work, such as cooking and doing laundry; and supervisory care, such as looking after a child while performing other domestic work. Both direct and indirect care may be performed simultaneously. Unpaid care work is done without any explicit financial compensation and usually takes place within households, but can also involve caring for extended family members, friends, neighbors’ or other community members. Paid care work is done for pay or payment in-kind. It takes place in public and private care sectors, such as education, health and social work, but also in private households. Paid care work also involves the
provision of care services, such as cleaning and cooking, in non-care sectors.

       

Unpaid and (under)paid care work is at the heart of gendered inequality. In the current economic system built on patriarchy, capitalism and racism, unpaid and paid care work is predominantly done by women and girls – especially those living in poverty and those from groups that experience social and economic discrimination based on their gender identity, race, ethnicity, nationality, migration status, sexuality, class and caste. Globally, women provide more than three-quarters of unpaid care work and make up two-thirds of the paid care workforce. According to the Kenya Time Use Survey by KNBS, women in Kenya spend an average of four and a half hours (or approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes) per day on unpaid care work. This includes activities like food preparation, cleaning, childcare, and laundry. Poverty and exclusion are key drivers of care inequalities among women: women and girls living in poverty spend significantly more time on unpaid care work than those from wealthier families, as they are more likely to lack access to time- and labour-saving equipment and basic infrastructure.It is against this backdrop that we are implementing two projects, (WE-Care) & Time to Care Kenya (TTC) under the Social wellbeing and gender equity pillar with an aim to improve gender equality and care infrastructure for women and girls.

 

Women’s Economic Empowerment and Care Project (WE-Care) aims to reignite progress on gender equality by addressing the largest, least-recognized factor preventing women from reaching their full potential – unpaid care & domestic work (UCDW). This project is currently in Phase IV and is funded by William+Flora Hewlett Foundation through Oxfam in Kenya. Implementing partners in Kenya are Youth Alive! Kenya who work in Nairobi and Kiambu Counties and by AWAK – (Association of Women in Agriculture Kenya) in Kitui County.

       

In partnership with Oxfam in Kenya, and Kenya Union of Domestic Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), Youth Alive! Kenya is implementing the ‘Time to Care Kenya’ (TTC) project; a gender transformative initiative that aims at improving gender equality and care infrastructure for women and girls. TTC aims at addressing inequalities in paid and unpaid care work with interventions that aim at recognizing, reducing, redistributing, and rewarding care and domestic work and in promoting the representation of women in decision-making spaces. Ultimately, the project aims to increase the voice, agency, decision-making making, and leadership of women and girls, through the adoption of gender-equitable social norms and the increased implementation of gender-transformative legislation, policies and practices by duty-bearers in support of care infrastructure for women and girls.

Care workers are unfortunately vulnerable to abuse in their workplaces. This can take many forms, including physical, mental, and emotional abuse by their employers. To ensure their rights are respected, strong referral pathways for gender-based violence (GBV) and effective responses are crucial. We’re proud to partner with women’s rights organizations to address this issue.

 

We invite you to join hands with us in making a difference in the lives of young people and the future of our society.

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