Re-evaluating care work during the pandemic (Felicity Thomas)

By Felicity Thomas

The International Labour Organization (ILO) recently warned of an ‘unsustainable global care crisis’, indicating that by 2030, the number of people needing care will reach 2.3 billion (Addati et al. 2018). Today, the majority of care practices are socially, culturally, economically and ecologically unsustainable. This is in large part because of a failure to ascribe sufficient value and recognition to the vast amounts of physical, emotional and intellectual labor required for the provision of care.

The urgent need to revalue care in the global economy has been brought into stark relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Academics from Exeter University are therefore working with colleagues at Duke University’s Revaluing Care in the Global Economy network to coordinate a series of virtual workshops on how we might crate a more care-full post-COVID-19 world. Workshops will focus on understanding what the pandemic has taught us about the value of care, as well as the principal areas of research and policymaking that are needed to respond to lessons learned. Topics to be addressed include reconceptualising communities of care, childcare, ageing and end-of-life care, carceral care, food access, inequalities in care provision, and technological approaches to care.

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