The way we approach care work is undeniably gendered, it’s not considered ‘work’ because men have defined what constitutes ‘work’, and traditionally men haven’t done much caring. There is a circular (il)logic at play: we don’t value care because we assume women should be doing it, and because women do it, we don’t value it.
The government has outsourced residential adult care and most provision is privatised. Many care homes are owned by hedge funds that operate on high risk high return principles, expect a 12% annual profit, avoid tax payments, and either flip the companies once the profit has been stripped or load the company with debt in order to leverage more debt for other activities.
How can we let this happen?
The Adivasi - or tribal communities - make up around 8.6% of India’s population. They are the poorest group in India and are among the most socially marginalised, considered to be ‘outside’ Indian society and stereotyped as lazy, alcoholic, and dirty. And women are further marginalised by their internal social structures.
But, with the introduction of Self Help Groups, the female Adivasi are finding their voice.
If you visit this year’s International Women’s Day website, which I encourage everyone to do, you will be prompted to make a pledge to #PressforProgress. The 2018 theme recognizes the gains women have made, while also acknowledging the progress still needed to reach true gender parity. As I think about the one way (and there are many) I would like to see philanthropy live this year’s theme, it is simple: apply an intersectional lens to our women and girls work.
Jane Anyango is a spirited activist whose courage transcends the ethnic and political divide in the Kibera slum in Nairobi. In 2004 Jane founded PolyCom Development Project, a community initiative in response to the high rates of sexual exploitation of adolescent girls in Kibera. But it was the killing of one of her mentees - a 15-year-old girl - shot by the police during the 2007-2008 post-election demonstrations in Kibera - that triggered Jane to mobilise Kibera women.