Female resident washing the dishes in the Philippines. © Asian Development Bank
Female resident washing the dishes in the Philippines. © Asian Development Bank
Blog

Five ways to change gender norms in unpaid care and domestic work

Author: Carmen Leon-Himmelstine
Published by: ODI

Today, women and girls are responsible for over 75% of all unpaid care and domestic work (UCDW) globally, contributing over three times more labour than men. Despite growing recognition from international organisations and the private sector that this issue needs to be tackled, interventions often fail to recognise the role of gender norms or are still unsure how to address them.

Individual action to foster collective change such as the #EachforEqual campaign is clearly important, but on International Women’s Day we cannot forget how unequal gender norms continue to shape and constrain women’s agency. If the development community is serious about its SDG 5 commitment to “recognise and value unpaid care and domestic work” by 2030, we need better designed programming that places gender norms at the heart of our approach.