We think of work only as paid jobs and workers only as salaried workers. But there are a large proportion of people who do invisible unpaid work.
From fetching firewood and water, to doing housework and caring for children, the sick and the elderly, women and girls still bear the disproportionate burden of essential unpaid care work. According to Oxfam, the monetary value of this unpaid work globally for women and girls over 15 is at least $10.8bn annually. This work seemingly substitutes for public expenditure on social services and infrastructure and corporate investment in workplace initiatives ( e.g. parental, family responsibility and wellness time, hybrid and remote work philosophies). Investments and initiatives that could level the playing field and unlock the economic abundance of women.
With the world living longer, the climate crisis and ongoing waves of health pandemics, care work will only increase into the future. It cannot be a responsibility carried by a few. While caring responsibilities may be labours of love, they are labours all the same.
So today, this Worker’s Day, let’s celebrate all workers, visible and invisible and thank them all for the contribution they make to building economies and societies. But tomorrow, let’s continue the ‘work’ to create abundance @ work for all.