WE-Care (Women's Economic Empowerment & Care)


NEW: Download a quick reference overview brochure here


Innovations in Care is an initiative to make care work more visible and address it as a factor influencing gender equality. Our goal is to join with others to build solutions to the centuries-old challenge of providing effective care for people whilst also ensuring women's human rights.


Care is a crucial dimension of well-being. People need care throughout their lives in order to survive and thrive. Care has long been considered to be the natural responsibility of women.  As a result, the costs of providing care fall disproportionately on women. Women's unpaid care work has recently been recognised as a major human rights issue. Women, especially those living in poverty, face heavy and unequal care responsibilities which impede efforts to promote gender equality and women's equal enjoyment of human rights.



Oxfam's approach Back to top

As a precondition for achieving women's political, social and economic empowerment, and for overcoming poverty, Oxfam aims to bring about the following changes in care work: 

  • Increase the recognition of care
  • Reduce the drudgery of care work
  • Redistribute responsibility for care more equitably between women and men and between households and the state/employers.


The initiative will facilitate improving the design and impact of selected programme interventions to address care work. Working with others, Oxfam will use programme evidence and experience to influence governments, donors, companies  and Oxfam staff and partners in order to recognise and address care as a development issue.



Rapid Care Analysis Back to top

Oxfam has developed a Rapid Care Analysis to assess context-specific patterns of unpaid household work and care of people.


Designed to easily integrate into existing tools on livelihoods, food, security or vulnerability, it makes visible how care responsibility impacts women's time, health or mobility, and identifies practical interventions to help ensure that women can participate fully in and benefit equally from development programmes. 

Rapid Care Analysis local reports Back to top

Household Care Survey Back to top

Oxfam conducted a Household Care Survey in communities of rural Colombia, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Uganda and Zimbabwe to gather evidence on determinants of long hours or gender inequality in care work. The findings help us gain a clearer understanding of care work and pathways of change to promote more equitable care provision.


Data were collected on household characteristics, members’ time use, socioeconomic status, social norms, labour-saving equipment and public infrastructure.


Results highlight that gender inequality exists in all measures of care work, with women and girls doing significantly more primary and secondary care activities, and supervision of dependants, than men and boys. The determinants of care are context-specific. 

Download the complete Household Care Survey Baseline Report.

Also available is the Household Care Survey questionnaire from Ethiopia, as an example of the complete HCS questionnaire, adapted from the generic version of the questionnaire.


Oxfam Resources Back to top

  • Rapid Care Analysis Powerpoint. Methodology and initial findings in English and Spanish.


Infographics  Back to top

We have developed a series of infographics to convey four key messages about care work.



Webinars  Back to top

We organize regular webinar session for training and learning. Some of these are:

  • 22 July 2015: Webinar on "One year of WE-Care learning and achievements". View the recording and the presentation
  • 14 Apr 2015: Webinar on "What have we learned so far". View the recording, the presentation and  all the comments and questions that were shared live among the participants .
  • 02 Feb 2015: Webinar on "How to develop your interventions for Change on Care through multi-stakeholder processes". View the recording, the presentation and the guidance document for the WE-Care Change Strategies.
  • 11 Dec 2014: Webinar training on "HCS data analysis". View the recording and the  presentation.
  • 03 Nov 2014: Webinar training on Household Care Survey (HCS). View the recording.
  • 14 Oct 2014: Webinar training on Rapic Care Analysis. View the now recording. It starts from 0:37. There were some technical glitches at the beginning. Here is also the presentation.


Read Blogs on Care Related Topics:  Back to top



Global Advocacy Resources  Back to top

  • UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights press release on unpaid care work, poverty, inequality and women’s human rights, UNGA, 2013.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights on unpaid care work, poverty, inequality and women’s human rights - in EnglishFrench and Spanish, UNGA, 2013.


  •  Back to top




    Find out more about Innovations in Care on Oxfam’s Policy & Practice website.

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