The question “Distinguish between ‘care economy’ and ‘monetized economy’. How can care economy be brought into monetized economy through women empowerment?" was asked in the Mains 2023 GS Paper 3. Let us look at the model answer to this question.
Answer: The present GDP of India is $3.7trillion but this figure do not include ‘Care economy’ which remain mostly unmonetized till now. In India, a 2% GDP investment in the care economy could potentially generate 11 million new jobs of which 35% will be women.
‘Care Economy’ and ‘Monetized Economy’
The care economy refers to unpaid and informal caregiving work, often performed by women within households. It involves child care, elder care, education, healthcare, domestic services, etc.
The monetized economy primarily revolves around buying and selling goods and services with money as the medium of exchange. It is driven by profit and market forces.
Since majority of unmonetized care economy is occupied by the women empowerment of women is necessary for bringing it in monetized fold.
Measures to bring care economy in monetized economy
- Recognize unpaid Work: Recognizing the economic value of unpaid care work.
- Equal Pay for Equal Work: Irrespective of whether it falls under the care or monetized economy.
- Social Protection Measures: Implementing policies like paid parental leave, Work from home (WFH) culture, subsidized healthcare, and pensions, which support women in their dual roles as caregivers and workers.
- Supporting Women's Employment: Providing opportunities to participate in the formal labor force through skill development, training, education, and policies that enable work-family balance.
- Promoting Women's Entrepreneurship: Encouraging and supporting women to start and grow businesses, especially in sectors related to care services.
- Income-Generating Activities through Self-Help Groups.
- Elderly and Healthcare Services: Creating job opportunities in the healthcare sector, including nursing, geriatric care, and other health-related services.
- Quality and Accessible Childcare Services: Establishing affordable and high-quality childcare services allows women to participate in the labor force without compromising their care responsibilities.
- Cultural Shift: Challenging gender stereotypes, and emphasizing the importance of both paid and unpaid work.
As India wants to become developed nation by 2047, contribution of half of population must be brought in the mainstream economy. This will also help us achieve SDG 5 (Gender Equality) too.