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Balancing unpaid care work and paid work: successes, challenges and lessons for women’s economic empowerment programmes and policies

August, 2015

The research project ‘Balancing unpaid care work and paid work’ is being conducted in partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK, and BRAC’s East Africa Research and Evaluation Unit (REU) in Uganda, along with Oxfam Nepal, Mobile Creches in India, Oxfam Tanzania and Action Aid Rwanda  . The project is a part of a larger international research initiative called Growth and Equal Opportunities for Women (GrOW), jointly funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in 14 countries in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The project aims to create knowledge about how women’s economic empowerment (WEE) policy and programming can generate a ‘double boon’: paid work that empowers women and provides more support for their unpaid care work responsibilities.  ISST will be using a mixed methods approach to study state and non state programmes in India and Nepal. The research findings will help in understanding the gaps in policies and programmes and inform research uptake to promote a positive balance between unpaid care work and paid work of women leading up to WEE.

The research project is 27 months long, beginning from January 2015. Up till now two important workshops of all the partners have been held viz., the first workshop was the inception workshop held in April 2015 at IDS UK to establish the overall common research goal and commensurate research methodologies between partners. The second workshop held in June 2015 in India, was to develop research tools required for the study. The research methodology workshop was also attended by all the research partners including IDS, BRAC-REU and ISST. The study including the research uptake will end in March 2017.

Sponsor: IDS, Sussex/IDRC, Canada

Publications  : Policy Brief India - From Double Burden of Women to a "Double Boon" : Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work,  By Sudeshna Sengupta and Shubhika Sachdeva with Inputs from Shraddha Chigateri, Mubashira Zaidi and Deepta Chopra.

Policy Brief Nepal - 'A Trapeze Act' : Balancing Unpaid Care Work and Paid Work by Women in Nepal,  By Anweshaa Ghosh, Anjam Singh and Mr.Bibhor Kayastha with significant inputs from Shraddha Chigateri, Deepta Chopra and Jane Remme.