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Care Economies

Don’t Let Another Crisis Go to Waste: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Imperative for a Paradigm Shift


Heintz, James, Silke Staab, and Laura Turquet. 2021. “Don’t Let Another Crisis Go to Waste: The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Imperative for a Paradigm Shift.” Feminist Economics. doi: 10.1080/13545701.2020.1867762

Authors: James Heintz, Silke Staab, Laura Turquet


The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how globalized, market-based economies critically depend on a foundation of nonmarket goods, services, and productive activities that interact with capitalist institutions and impact market economies. These findings, long argued by feminist economists, have profound implications for how we think about our economic futures. This paper shows how lessons from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can inform how people think about the future of our economies and, specifically, how to address a trio of interlocking crises: care work, environmental degradation, and macroeconomic consequences. Drawing on these lessons, this paper argues for a necessary paradigm shift and discusses the implications of such a shift for social and economic policies.

Keywords: Crisis, care economy, sustainability, macroeconomics

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Health

Year: 2021

Gender and Mobility: A Critical Introduction


Penttinen, Elina, and Anitta Kynsilehto. 2017. Gender and Mobility: A Critical Introduction. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Authors: Elina Penttinen, Anitta Kynsilehto


Our world is characterized by mobility. The number of refugees on the global scale has increased considerably. Meanwhile border control measures and legal avenues for mobility have been severely curbed, and the political climate has become all the more violent against racialized and gendered “Others”. Business elites traverse the fast-track lines to financial hubs and tourists discover new destinations. Ageing societies need people from abroad to perform care work. Domestic workers carve out nearer and further paths to reach employment, often leaving their family members behind in need of care. This book examines global mobilities from gendered perspectives, asking how gender together with race/ethnicity, social class, nationality and sexuality shape globally mobile lives. By developing analysis that cuts through economic structures, policies and individuals enacting agency, the book demonstrates how intersectional feminist analysis helps to comprehend uneven mobilities. Through multidisciplinary angle the book draws examples from different parts of the world and refuses to provide easy answers. Calling for students, scholars and general readers alike, the book invites the reader to imagine and relate to the world in manifold ways. (Summary from Google Books)

Topics: Class, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Economies, Care Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Intersectionality, Race, Sexuality

Year: 2017

Of Markets and Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well for Care?


Nelson, Julie A. 1999. “Of Markets and Martyrs: Is It OK To Pay Well for Care?” Feminist Economics 5 (3): 43–59.

Author: Julie A. Nelson


If caring work were well paid, would it lose some of the special, emotional, interpersonal aspects we want in “real” care relationships? Some fear that the introduction of “market values” would lead to such an outcome. This article seeks to bring to light some logical fallacies and insuficiently expunged gender dualisms that may lie, unexamined, under such concerns. Examining the ways we think and talk about markets, meanings, and motivations, it argues that the foci of feminist concern should instead be the concrete structures of caregiving and the problem of under-demand.

Keywords: caring, labor, wages, dualism, markets, commodification

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Gender, Women

Year: 1999

Husbandry: A (Feminist) Reclamation of Masculine Responsibility for Care


Nelson, Julie A. 2016. “Husbandry: A (Feminist) Reclamation of Masculine Responsibility for Care.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 40 (1): 1–15

Author: Julie A. Nelson


While extremely important and revolutionary, much feminist work on the economics of care has risked reinforcing an association of care with only women and with only women’s traditional activities. This article revives the image of ‘husbandry’, understood as careful cultivation, tending and management, as a complement to the image of mothering. A rich masculine prototype of care may be helpful in reawakening male responsibility for care, and revitalising the recognition of the necessity of concern and carefulness in all of economic life. The ‘good husbandman’, in stark contrast to ‘economic man’, lives a fuller life, acting responsively and responsibly. This article lays out the need for such a rich image; suggests applications to the environment, carework and business management; and addresses some possible drawbacks.

Keywords: care, masculinity, gender, husbandry

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies

Year: 2016

Intersectionality and Collective Action: Visioning a Feminist Green New Deal in the US


Daniel, Tara, and Mara Dolan. 2020. “Intersectionality and Collective Action: Visioning a Feminist Green New Deal in the US.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 515–33.

Authors: Tara Daniel, Mara Dolan


In the wake of the introduction of the Resolution for a Green New Deal to the US House of Representatives in 2019, feminist climate justice activists and organisers initiated and cultivated the Feminist Coalition for a Green New Deal. The Coalition advances an intersectional feminist analysis as part of the national conversation about the Green Deal, which entails elucidating and enacting processes for coalition-formation and creating shared values, principles, and policy positions. This article shares insights from interviews with five Coalition members about the relevance of the Coalition’s creation, operating processes, and key outcomes –namely the principles for a Feminist Green New Deal – for communities, advocates, and policymakers, particularly in this moment of reckoning with a global pandemic. Their reflections illustrate their fervent dedication to the feminist tool of intersectional analysis, their proposals for an alternative economy centred on principles of care and regeneration as the essential scaffolding for a Feminist Green New Deal, and their commitment to the power of collective action as the most effective means of movement building. The responses also demonstrate the interconnectedness of feminist climate advocacy with feminist development critiques, the essentiality of a comprehensive reframing of governments’ general policy processes and aims, and the criticality of movement building that is intentional and responsive.


Au lendemain de l’introduction de la Résolution pour une Nouvelle donne verte auprès de la Chambre des représentants des États-Unis en 2019, les activistes et organisateurs féministes de la justice climatique aux États-Unis ont initié et cultivé la Coalition féministe pour une Nouvelle donne verte (Feminist Coalititon for a Green New Deal). Cette coalition met en avant une analyse féministe intersectionnelle comme élément de cette conversation nationale, qui suppose l’éclaircissement et la promulgation de processus de formation de coalitions et la création de valeurs, principes et positions de politiques communs. Cet article propose des aperçus tirés d’entretiens avec cinq membres de la coalition sur la pertinence de la création, des processus d’opération et des résultats clés de la coalition - c’est-à-dire les principes d’une Nouvelle donne verte féministe - pour les communautés, les défenseurs et les décideurs, a fortiori alors même que nous sommes confrontés à une pandémie mondiale. Leurs réflexions illustrent leur fervent dévouement envers l’outil féministe de l’analyse intersectionnelle, leurs propositions concernant une économie alternative axée sur les principes des soins et de la régénération comme échafaudage essentiel pour une Nouvelle donne verte féministe, et leur engagement en faveur du pouvoir de l’action collective comme moyen le plus efficace de bâtir un mouvement. Les réponses démontrent également l’interconnectivité des activités de plaidoyer féministes en matière de climat et des critiques féministes du développement, le caractère essentiel d’une reformulation
complète des processus et objectifs de politique générale des gouvernements, et l’importance critique d’une construction de mouvements intentionnelle et réactive.


Una vez que la Resolución para un Nuevo Trato Verde fue introducida en la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos en 2019, activistas y organizadoras feministas en torno a la justicia climática de este país dieron inicio y cultivaron la Coalición Feminista para un Nuevo Trato Verde. Como parte de esta conversación nacional, dicha Coalición realizó un análisis feminista intersectorial, cuyo propósito apuntaba a elucidar y promulgar procesos para la formación de coaliciones, así como a crear valores, principios y propiciar posiciones políticas compartidos. En el presente artículo se examinan ideas surgidas de entrevistas realizadas con cinco miembros de la coalición respecto a la relevancia que asignan a su creación, sus procesos operativos y sus resultados clave —es decir, los principios para un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde Feminista— orientados a comunidades, defensores y responsables encargados de la formulación de políticas, sobre todo en un momento en que, debido a la pandemia mundial, se experimenta una nueva realidad. Sus reflexiones dan cuenta del uso que hacen de la herramienta feminista llamada análisis interseccional y de su ferviente dedicación a impulsar sus propuestas en pos de una economía alternativa centrada en los principios de cuidado y regeneración. Estos elementos resultan esenciales para construir el andamiaje básico de un Nuevo Acuerdo Verde Feminista, a lo que se suma su compromiso de impulsar el poder de la acción colectiva como el medio más eficaz para fortalecer el movimiento. Asimismo, las respuestas suscitadas en las entrevistas revelan la interconexión existente entre la incidencia feminista en torno al clima y las críticas feministas del desarrollo, la necesidad de un replanteamiento integral de los procesos y los objetivos de política general de los gobiernos, y la importancia crítica implícita en el hecho de que la construcción de movimientos sea intencional y responda a las necesidades de este periodo crítico.

Keywords: gender equality, feminism, feminist analysis, intersectionality, movement building, collective action, climate change, Green New Deal

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Intersectionality, Political Participation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis


Butt, Myrah Nerine, Saleha Kamal Shah, and Fareeha Ali Yahya. 2020. “Caregivers at the Frontline of Addressing the Climate Crisis.” Gender & Development 28 (3): 479–98.

Authors: Myrah Nerine Butt, Saleha Kamal Shah, Fareeha Ali Yahya


This article draws on Oxfam’s work in Pakistan. It explores the burdens of addressing the climate crisis on the unpaid labour of poverty-stricken women in Badin, Pakistan. A case study methodology has been used to highlight the experiences of four women farmers in Badin and understand the impact of climate change on their care workload. Seawater intrusion and rising temperatures are key stressors leading to acute shortages of water. This is increasing women’s time spent on key care activities like fodder and water collection, and livestock rearing. A severe negative impact has been observed on the drudgery of care work and, in turn, on the health and well-being of the women. In a context where prevalent gender inequality and social norms lead to unequal life chances for women, it has been observed that due to climate change, women have to travel further, work harder, and assume more care responsibilities. It has also been observed that care is primarily seen as a feminine task with residual care responsibilities falling on the shoulders of other women in the household, particularly girls, crippling their life chances. Despite all these challenges, women are organising and raising their voices on key issues around climate change. The article recommends that the four ‘Rs’ framework – recognise, reduce, redistribute, and represent –  developed by feminist economists and care experts, be integrated across mainstream climate policy and programmes to help women in poverty improve their well-being and exercise their social, economic, and political rights.


Cet article s’inspire des travaux menés par Oxfam au Pakistan. Il se penche sur le fardeau représenté par les efforts de la lutte contre la crise climatique sur le travail non rémunéré des femmes pauvres de Badin, au Pakistan. Une méthodologie d’étude de cas a été employée pour mettre en relief les expériences de quatre agricultrices de Badin et pour comprendre l’impact du changement climatique sur leur charge de travail liée aux soins. L’intrusion de l’eau de mer et la hausse des températures sont des facteurs de stress clés qui entraînent des pénuries aiguës d’eau. Cela a pour effet d’accroître le temps consacré par les femmes aux activités de soins comme la collecte de fourrage et d’eau, et l’élevage. Un grave impact négatif a été observé en ce qui concerne la pénibilité des activités de soins et, en conséquence, sur la santé et le bien-être des femmes. Dans un contexte où les inégalités existantes entre les sexes et les normes sociales donnent lieu à des chances de réussite inégales pour les femmes, on a observé qu’en raison du changement climatique, les femmes doivent parcourir de plus longues distances, travailler davantage et assumer plus de responsabilités de soins. On a également observé que les soins sont principalement perçus comme une tâche féminine et que les responsabilités résiduelles de soins reposent sur les épaules des autres femmes du foyer, en particulier les filles, ce qui compromet leurs perspectives de réussite. Malgré ces défis, les femmes s’organisent et se font entendre sur des questions clés relatives au changement climatique. Cet article recommande que le cadre des quatre « R » — reconnaître, réduire, redistribuer et représenter — mis au point par les économistes et les experts féministes en matière de soins, soit intégré dans tous les programmes et politiques généraux en matière de climat pour aider les femmes pauvres à améliorer leur bien-être et à faire valoir leurs droits sociaux, économiques et politiques.


Partiendo del trabajo realizado por Oxfam en Pakistán, el presente artículo examina la carga que supone para el trabajo no remunerado de las mujeres afectadas por la pobreza en Badin, Pakistán, abordar la crisis climática. Con este propósito se utilizó una metodología de estudio de casos para poner de relieve las experiencias de cuatro agricultoras de Badin, a fin de comprender el impacto del cambio climático en su carga de trabajo vinculada al cuidado. Tanto la filtración de agua de mar como la elevación de temperatura constituyen factores estresantes fundamentales que provocan una grave escasez de agua. Esto determina que las mujeres deban aumentar el tiempo que dedican a actividades clave de cuidado, como la recolección de forraje y agua, y la cría de ganado. Ello ha ocasionado un grave impacto negativo, tanto en el trabajo de cuidado como en la salud y el bienestar de las mujeres. En un contexto en que la desigualdad de género y las normas sociales predominantes dan lugar a desiguales oportunidades en la vida para las mujeres, se ha observado que, debido al cambio climático, las mujeres tienen que viajar más lejos, trabajar más duro y asumir más responsabilidades de cuidado. Además, se ha constatado que el cuidado es considerado sobre todo como una tarea de mujeres y que las responsabilidades residuales del cuidado recaen sobre los hombros de otras mujeres del hogar, en particular las niñas, lo que limita sus oportunidades en la vida. A pesar de todos estos desafíos, las mujeres se están organizando y alzando su voz en cuestiones clave relativas al cambio climático. El artículo recomienda que el marco de las cuatro “R” —reconocer, reducir, redistribuir y representar— desarrollado por economistas feministas y expertos en cuidados, se integre a la política y los programas climáticos principales para ayudar a las mujeres marginadas a mejorar su bienestar y ejercer sus derechos sociales, económicos y políticos.

Keywords: climate, care work, agriculture, Pakistan, water, WE-Care

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Girls, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Caring for More Than Humans: Ecofeminism and Care Ethics in Conversation


Pettersen, Tove. 2020. “Caring for More Than Humans: Ecofeminism and Care Ethics in Conversation.” In Between Closeness and Evil, edited by Odin Lysaker, 183-213. Oslo, Norway: Scandinavian Academic Press.

Author: Tove Pettersen


Over the last four decades, both ecofeminism and care ethics have profoundly theorized the link between oppression and what is viewed as Others, such as women, non-human animals and nature. After uncovering and analyzing some important commonalities and differences between these two branches of feminist ethical theories and their critiques of dominant Western philosophy and ethics, Tove Pettersen also identifies some clear thematic and methodological overlaps with Arne Johan Vetlesen’s philosophy. She explores three topics in particular where ecofeminism and care ethics may benefit from an exchange, and which is also relevant to Vetlesen’s scholarship: the relationship between reason and emotion, the relational ontology, and the emphasis on lived experience. In addition to challenging traditional conceptualizations of reality, conventional value hierarchies, and established power configurations, ecofeminism and care ethics also propose alternatives to oppressive arrangements and new ideals for the future, which are also discussed in this chapter. By integrating ecofeminism and care ethics into one conversation, Pettersen argues, these theories can enhance each other’s philosophical foundations and provide a powerful framework for analyzing the interconnection between the unjustified domination of women, other Others, and nature. They can also contribute toward kindling the radical shift in mindset and urgent action that Arne Johan Vetlesen calls for in his environmental philosophy.

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Feminisms, Ecofeminism, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020

Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care


MacGregor, Sherilyn. 2007. Beyond Mothering Earth: Ecological Citizenship and the Politics of Care. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Author: Sherilyn MacGregor


Women’s environmental activism is often described in maternalist terms – as if motherhood and caring for the environment go hand in hand. While feminists celebrate this connection, women and all those who care for people and environments are facing increasing burdens and decreasing time for civic engagement. 
In Beyond Mothering Earth, MacGregor argues that celebrations of “earthcare” as women’s unique contribution to the search for sustainability often neglect to consider the importance of politics and citizenship in women’s lives. Drawing on interviews with women who juggle private caring with civic engagement in quality-of-life concerns, she proposes an alternative: a project of feminist ecological citizenship that affirms the practice of citizenship as an intrinsically valuable activity while recognizing the foundational aspects of caring labour and natural processes that allow its specificity to flourish. (Summary from UBC Press)

Table of Contents

Part One: Theoretical Interrogations

2. The Roots and Rhetoric of Ecomaternalism

3. Down among the Women: Ecofeminism and Identity Politics at the Grassroots

4. From Care to Citizenship: Calling Ecofeminism Back to Politics

5. The Problems and Possibilities of Ecological Citizenship

Part Two: Conversations

6. Conversations with Activist Women: Towards a Counter-Narrative

7. The Private, the Public, and the Planet: Juggling Care and Activism in Daily Life

8. Activist Women Theorize the Green Political

9. No Motherhood Issue: The Project of Feminist Ecological Citizenship

Topics: Citizenship, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Climate Change, Feminisms, Feminist Political Ecology

Year: 2007

Structural Transformations for Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice


Bidegain, Nicole, and Anita Nayar. 2012. “Structural Transformations for Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice.” In Sustainable Economy and Green Growth: Who Cares?, edited by Ulrike Röhr and Conny van Heemstra, 38-40. Berlin: GENANET.

Authors: Nicole Bidegain, Anita Nayar


Nicole Bidegain and Anita Nayar criticise the Green Economy concept and explore how issues of care are linked to environmental sustainability and alternatives to the current inequitable economic model. They ask what alternatives sustainability of livelihoods and the planet promote, rather than private accumulation, growth and efficiency. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Ecological Economics, Environment, Climate Change, Livelihoods

Year: 2012

SDG 5: Gender Equality: A Precondition for Sustainable Forestry


Arora-Jonsson, Seema, Shruti Agarwal, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Stephanie Keene, Priya Kurian, and Anne M. Larson. 2019. “SDG 5: Gender Equality: A Precondition for Sustainable Forestry.” In Sustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and Peoples, edited by Pia Katila, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Wil de Jong, Glenn Galloway, Pablo Pacheco, and Georg Winkel, 146-77. London: Cambridge University Press.

Authors: Seema Arora-Jonsson, Shruti Agarwal, Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Stephanie Keene, Priya Kurian, Anne M. Larson


Taking SDG 5 seriously in relation to forests brings to the forefront what is usually taken for granted in forest debates: people, their relationships to one another and to the forests that determine forest outcomes. In this chapter, we bring to light the invisible labour and relations that underpin good forest management. We show how systemic and contextual factors such as health, gender-based violence and unpaid care work by forest peoples in the forests and outside are crucial to the welfare of forests and forest dependent peoples. So far, little progress has been made in implementing SDG5 targets within forestry. Political will is needed to transform unequal relationships and to support demands for forest justice. There is a need to challenge privilege based on sex, class, ethnicity or caste and to destabilize inequitable micro- and macro-economic structures such as commodification and support democratic forest governance to work towards greater sustainability. It is also important to keep in mind that well-intentioned efforts, such as gender programmes can have adverse effects if not cognisant of contextual power relations. The welfare and dignity that achieving SDG 5 would bring to forest peoples and livelihoods is essential to ensuring better managed and sustainable forests. (Summary from original source)

Topics: Caste, Class, Economies, Care Economies, Environment, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Year: 2019


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