Photo: Cineskrúpulos/Oxfam

Women's Empowerment; Community-Led Action Learning




Geographical focus

  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Malawi
  • Philippines
  • Uganda
  • Zimbabwe (embedded within programmes)
  • Bangladesh
  • Honduras
  • Tajikistan (certain components)


  • Gender mainstreaming
  • Standalone

WEE outcomes

  • Addressing heavy and unequal care enables women to benefit from participation in development programmes.
  • Unpaid care work is recognised, reduced, redistributed.
  • Negative outcomes (such as VAW) are mitigated.

We-Care is an initiative to make care work more visible and address it as a factor influencing gender equality. It aims to join others to build solutions to the centuries-old challenge of providing care for people whilst also ensuring women's human rights. Addressing care work is a precondition for achieving women's political, social and economic empowerment, and for overcoming poverty.

Assessment tools

WE-Care applies the Rapid Care Analysis methodology and a Household care survey to understand the nature of unpaid care and mobilise stakeholders to take action. It uses multi stakeholder platforms and other forms of engagement, including advocacy, to stimulate the development of practical solutions such as the expansion in infrastructure and services and changes to gender norms and roles.


  • It is a low cost approach with practical steps.
  • It can be embedded or integrated into wider WEE/Economic Justice or Gender Justice programmes working with mixed groups and where there is already a logic promoting WEE. For instance, it is integrated into EDP and GEM already, supporting their objectives for WEE.
  • It results in increased recognition of a fundamental issue amongst local stakeholders and generates locally led action.
  • It provides evidence for influencing policy and practice.


The Household Care Survey (2015) demonstrated how important it is to gather evidence on RESPONSIBILITY for care, or ‘supervision’ time, as well as hours of care work. The long hours when women are responsible for 'looking after' children or dependent adults clarifies why women carers struggle to attend training, travel to markets, or show up for shifts at an enterprise. Here the outside ring is care WORK – in the project area in Lanao del Sur, Philippines, women average 7.5 hours of work per day, and men 1.1 hours (6 hours difference). The inner ring in dark red includes all hours with care RESPONSIBILITY, including 'supervision' women report an average of 12 hours, men less than 4, (8 hours difference).