International Women's Day 2024
Why Should We Care? The Care Economy and Inclusive Economic Growth

What is the Care Economy?

Care work is embedded in our everyday life, covering essential services such as childcare and support for the elderly and disabled. The care economy underpins economic growth, skill development, and job creation—and it is the fastest-growing economic sector, projected to create up to 299 million jobs by 2035.

Yet, despite its economic significance, care work remains undervalued, largely due to prevailing gender norms that designate both paid and unpaid care work as ‘women’s work.’ The undervaluation of care work is a major driver of discrimination against women and one of the main reasons gender equality will take 300 years to achieve without increased investment.

Why does it Matter?

With women undertaking 76.2 percent of all unpaid care work, 3.2 times more than men, the glaring gender disparity in caregiving responsibilities hinders women’s economic advancement and compromises their well-being. This disparity leads to time poverty, resulting from gendered care expectations that can even force successful women entrepreneurs to close their businesses.

Elevating Care in Global Forums

At the 2023 Women Deliver Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, Cadmus led a discussion on catalyzing government action and commitments by prioritizing care in global forums. From crafting a global plan to enhance care services to establishing the necessary infrastructure, Cadmus acknowledges the ongoing need to value care work and its impact on achieving gender equality and inclusive economic growth. Read our insights from the Conference: Working Toward Sustainable and Inclusive Care Systems – Cadmus (

Pictured: Kate Francis, Technical Director of Cadmus’ economic engagement and private sector development practice, moderating the Elevating Care Across Global and Regional Platforms panel at the Women Deliver Conference, July 2023