Political and Social Economy of Care : Gendered Dimensions in Selected Developing Countries

The provision of paid and unpaid care is integral to human well being because it affects both the quantity and quality of labour, as well as broad development processes. The way care is organized in society affects the achievement of gender equality, and in many contexts, women's unpaid care work deepens gender inequality and the feminization of poverty. This research will investigate the gendered dimensions of different care regimes and examine the combined, interdependent way in which care is provided and allocated between the institutions of family/household, state, market, and community, for a number of developing countries. This project will use a combination of research methods to provide a political economy analysis of the pressures underpinning the evolution of policy in this area; an institutional analysis of the care regimes; and a micro level quantitative analysis of how women and men (and girls and boys) within households assume responsibility for the physical and emotional care of dependents, in both temporal and financial terms. A mix of policies is needed to support the work of care and to redistribute it more equally between women and men; and the findings of the project will be used to inform policy thinking in this area.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, August 25, 2006

End Date

Friday, December 31, 2010


42 months

IDRC Officer

Cos-Montiel, Franscisco

Total funding

CA$ 425,000


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Shahra Razavi


United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

Institution Country


Institution Website