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Inequalities, the care work: invisible and without dignity, and 3.4 million of them robbed of $ 8 billion a year

the ROME - The economic inequality is now a phenomenon that is out of control. In 2019 the billionaires of the world (only 2.153 individuals) had more wealth

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Inequalities, the care work: invisible and without dignity, and 3.4 million of them robbed of $ 8 billion a year
the ROME - The economic inequality is now a phenomenon that is out of control. In 2019 the billionaires of the world (only 2.153 individuals) had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. The 22 richest men in the world possess more wealth than all african women. At the summit of the global economy stood a small elite of people, rich in a way unimaginable, whose wealth grows exponentially in time, with little effort and regardless of the fact that they bring value to the company or not.
In the meantime, the “lower floors” of the economy, women and girls (especially women and girls living in poverty, and marginalised groups) daily dedicate 12.5 billion hours of care work, unpaid and countless other paid work with wages of subsistence.

The enormous value of a work is not recognized. And is a healthy and productive work of these women and girls, which is essential for the community, one of the aspects analyzed in the report, Oxfam has calculated the value added to the economy, in general, to the extent of at least 10.800 billion dollars. Figure this, even if enormous, an estimated defect. Despite this, the major share of the financial benefits go to the most wealthy, the majority of whom are men. An unjust system that exploits and marginalizes women and girls in poor and feed the wealth and power of a wealthy elite.

Without decisive action the situation will get worse . The ageing of the population, cuts in public spending and climate change threaten to exacerbate even further the gender inequalities and economic inequalities, by feeding a developing crisis in the field of assistance and to the detriment of those who work there. While the elite rich and powerful can have the chance to buy themselves a way out of the worst of these crises, the poor and the weak will not be able to do the same. Governments must take decisive action and courage to build a new economy with a human dimension, which would be to the benefit of all, not only of the few, and that values the work of care by placing them above the profits and wealth, detects the report of Oxfam.

Who takes care of whom. the work of care is vital for our society and for the economy: it includes the assistance to children, elderly persons, persons with physical and mental illnesses and disabilities, in addition to domestic work daily, the kitchen, the cleanliness of the houses, and the garments, the mending, the supply of water, the collection of firewood. Without someone who invests time, energy and resources in these daily tasks that are essential for the community, the workplace and the entire economy would grind to a halt. Around the world, care work, unpaid and underpaid is played predominantly by women and girls from poor families, especially those belonging to groups that, in addition to gender discrimination, face discrimination related to race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, caste. Women are more than three-quarters of the assistance is not employed and two-thirds of that paid.

Only 10% of the domestic workers is to be protected. in Addition to performing, free of charge, the work of home care - it highlights the document of Oxfam - many poor women are also working for providing help to others. For example, as domestic workers, as one of the categories most exploited in the world. Only 10% of those who belong to this category of workers is protected by general laws on-the-job and only about half enjoy equal protection of the minimum wage. More than half of all domestic workers, has no limits of working hours established by national regulations. In the most extreme cases of forced labour and trafficking, domestic workers are trapped in the homes of the employers, which they control every aspect of their lives, making them invisible and depriving them of any protection. It is estimated that, globally, the 3.4 million domestic workers forced into labor are robbed of $ 8 billion a year, equal to 60% of the salary due to them.

In 2030, 100 million of the elderly in the most to assist. The world", says Oxfam - is facing a crisis in care due to the effects of the ageing population, cuts to public services and social protection systems, and to the effects of climate change; all of this threatens to worsen the crisis and increase the burden of care work. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that by 2030 there will be an additional 100 million older people and a further 100 million children aged 6 to 14 years of age in need of assistance. As they age, older people will need assistance to be more diligent and long-term care systems ill prepared to support them.

The "advice" the adverse Monetary Fund. Instead of strengthening social programs and increase public spending in order to invest in the care and tackle inequalities - it is underlined in the dossier of Oxfam - the general tendency is rather to increase the tax burden borne by the poor, and reduce spending, privatising health and education, often following the advice (but it is more correct to talk about taxation, in exchange for loans) of financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Oxfam has recently been demonstrated in Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, the IMF programs that use this approach have had a negative impact on women, threatening to exacerbate inequality. Governments continue to rely on the VAT, although it is a tax that is regressive, hitting hardest the poor and impose a disproportionate burden on women who provide care work.

A more equitable world is possible. the governments all over the world - you can still read the document circulated by Oxfam - can and must build a human economy was more favourable to women and to the benefit of the 99% of humanity, not just 1%. In such a world, everyone would have a secure job that paid a decent wage, no one would live in fear of getting sick and having to bear the medical expenses, all the children would have the opportunity to realize their potential. Both the dramatic level of economic inequality, the looming crisis of care can be addressed, but this will require concerted efforts and policy decisions, the courage to repair the damage caused so far and to build economic systems that protect all citizens. The construction of national care systems with the full participation of civil society, and in particular of the groups for women's rights, is a fundamental step in this direction.

The experience of the indian women. it Is now established, on the report of Oxfam - that the women workers, though forming the backbone of the families of the workers in the informal, are the poorest among the poor of the world. The Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), is the largest trade union of women workers, poor, informal sector in India, with a membership of over 1.9 million workers. SEWA believes that poverty is the worst form of violence perpetuated with the consent of the company. Only the work and an occupation lasting, in addition to the ownership of the goods can reduce this violence.

The price of the service. From the experience of SEWA with the workers poor in the informal sector, we have learned - it is the law in the case of Oxfam - that the access to care services is for them a fundamental right. If the women do not have the possibility to take advantage of support services, at affordable prices, must assume responsibility for the care of the family; to do this they must reduce their working hours and, consequently, its income, or to entrust these responsibilities to the older children, thus compromising their education. As stated by the founder of SEWA, Ela Bhatt, "women should be paid full time even if you work part-time, because the only way you can avoid that sprofondino in abject poverty".

The goal: a society from economic growth, not a violent one. The support services, therefore, emphasizes the document circulated by Oxfam - should not replace the care of the family, especially in the informal sector because the informal sector is often works in the family, a work that accompanies the activity of care: two aspects of life, especially of women, that can not be clearly separated: it is necessary to strengthen this delicate balance. Never before had the opportunity to appreciate and enhance the work of millions of workers welfare in the traditional economy, both formal and informal. The report of Oxfam "Time to Care" show the nature and scope of this opportunity, and if will be grasped you will be close to what SEWA calls "the construction of an economy of nutrition", that is, a society based on economic growth is non-violent.

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