More Appreciation and a Fair Distribution of Care Work

Two sociologists from the university are involved in the Equal Care Day initiative, which addresses national politics with a manifesto. It calls for a long-term strategy for the fair distribution of private and professional care work, and can be signed online.

“The Corona crisis is an unmistakable reminder of how relevant and at the same time undervalued activities related to providing care are,” says Sonja Bastin from the Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy (SOCIUM). “While the pandemic is aggravating the situation,” says Andrea Schäfer, “it only highlights a long-standing structural crisis in care work. This so-called ‘care work’ can be paid work, as in nursing care or childcare, but also unpaid work, as in domestic care within the family or during parental leave. It is predominantly women who carry out this work.

Parents, Children, and Carers particularly affected

Businesses and the state would exploit this – usually at the expense of women. There was no fair distribution of such care work between the genders and within society. The victims are also those who depend on care work: children, sick and old people. This problem can not be counteracted by day-to-day interventions but needs long-term solutions. Especially in the current economic reorganization, this must be taken into account in order to prevent renewed discrimination.

Manifesto with Concrete Demands on the German Government

A total of 18 concrete demands were raised by the recently published manifesto of the Equal Care Day initiative, in which the sociologists, together with the Central Commission for Women’s Issues (ZKFF) of the University of Bremen, participated with an event. The manifesto can be signed online.

One of the demands is that the added value generated by unpaid care work should be taken into account in national accounts, because it is a major factor in the creation of wealth. It is also necessary to provide better social security for the time spent on parenting and other forms of care, for example by granting financial compensation for care work when retiring.  Also, strategies for a fairer distribution between the genders must be consistently implemented.

Further Information: (in German)



Dr. Sonja Bastin
SOCIUM – Research Center on Inequality and Social Policy
Phone: +49 421 218-66385
Email: sbastinprotect me ?!bigsss.uni-bremenprotect me ?!.de

Andrea Schäfer
ZKFF – Central Commission for Women’s Issues
Phone: +49 421 218-60074
Email: andrea.schaeferprotect me ?!unibremenprotect me ?!.de


Woman with children on a meadow