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Policy Brief: Incorporation of Women’s Economic Empowerment and Unpaid Care Work into regional polices: Africa


Time to start caring – how ignoring Unpaid Care Work is holding back economic empowerment of Africa’s rural women


Agriculture accounts on average for one third of Africa’s GDP and women make up as much as half of its rural workforce. Given the various commitments made on gender equality, economic development and agricultural policies, African agriculture should be a success story for rural women but this is far from the case. The most obvious challenge is the staggering unequal burden of Unpaid Care Work.

In response to these challenges this policy briefing was developed as part of ActionAid’s five year multi country POWER project. This is the first in a planned series of policy and research papers. It provides an analysis of the current policies, and practices, across Africa that relate to rural women’s economic empowerment and, in particular, the inclusion of the issue of Unpaid Care Work. It considers the successes and the gaps, and identifies opportunities for improvement. It also seeks to link Unpaid Care Work and women’s economic empowerment with the issue of Violence Against Women.