International Women’s Day, 8 March: Invest in care for more decent jobs for women

The ITUC stands in solidarity with women workers celebrating International Women’s Day, 8 March 2022.

Two years have passed since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, bringing along devastating consequences for people’s lives and livelihoods. We are witnessing an unprecedented loss of jobs and income, approximately four times greater than the 2009 global financial crisis.

While this is a crisis that affects us all, not all are affected in the same way.

Young women, women of colour, women migrant workers, Indigenous women and women in the informal economy, including domestic workers and women with disabilities, were already highly vulnerable but have been particularly hit hard. The latest data indicates 13 million fewer women in employment in 2021 compared to 2019.

This clearly stresses the urgency to implement gender-responsive policies and measures now.

The ITUC New Social Contract calls for the creation of 575 million new jobs by 2030 and the formalisation of employment for at least one billion informal workers.

Investment in the care economy is at the heart of these demands.

As the United Nations secretary-general has pointed out, around 269 million new jobs could be created by 2030 if investments in education, health and social work are doubled.

Investing in care – health, education, child and aged care and other social care services – can create millions of new decent jobs for women and enable women’s effective participation in the broader economy, building fairer, more inclusive and dignified societies.

Two-thirds of the global care workforce are women. Too many of them are still trapped in underpaid, precarious and informal jobs. We demand decent work for care workers, with safe working conditions, adequate wages and social protection.

The international trade union movement will continue our struggle to make investing in care a reality everywhere to achieve more decent jobs for women.

Further information and materials, including infographics and social media messages, will be made available here.