Engaging the Care Economy in the Global South: Debates and contestations

Discussions about the ‘care economy’ and the enduring ‘crisis of care’ – a term coined by feminist scholars to describe the challenges people face in balancing emotional well-being, physical health, social relationships, and various forms of labour for survival – were reignited during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This renewed focus on care presents an opportunity to revisit and deepen our understanding of care by drawing from decades of feminist literature on ethics, economics, and social policy.

The IEJ latest Discussion Paper, the first in our Economies of Care Series, explores the theoretical foundations and practical implications of the care economy, offering insights into its historical evolution, socio-political significance, and contemporary relevance. It serves as a resource for researchers, policymakers, and the public, fostering informed discussions and targeted policy responses to prioritise caregivers and care recipients, particularly in the Global South. Follow up publications will focus on care regimes and care policies in South Africa.