CARE MATTERS: Taking action on unpaid care and domestic work in ASEAN

Unpaid care and Domestic work
Paper author: 
Jocelyn Villanueva, Amber Parkes, Mariana Anton, Leah Payud and Richa Singh
Paper publication date: 
Monday, December 14, 2020

Unpaid care and domestic work (UCDW) is one of the most persistent and systemic barriers to achieving gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Hence, it is important for the ASEAN and its member-states to regulate and oversee policy legislation and investments in programs and services that address issues related to UCDW and to create an enabling environment where it is recognized, reduced, redistributed, and represented as provided for by key international conventions and frameworks.

This briefing paper aims to support the creation of a regional policy framework on UCDW that enables investments in national care systems, improves social protection systems, shifts negative social norms that perpetuate unequal care responsibilities, ensures the participation of carers in decision-making processes, improves database on UCDW, and transforms labor and business laws, policies, and incentives.

This paper was prepared by Jocelyn Villanueva with Amber Parkes, Mariana Anton, Leah Payud, and Richa Singh. Valuable inputs were provided by Oxfam’s country offices in Vietnam and Laos. Oxfam acknowledges the assistance of Shubert Ciencia, Mark Vincent Aranas, Mustafa Talpurand Oxfam’s GRAISEA Program in its production. This paper is submitted to the ASEAN Secretariat for its consideration as a possible briefing paper in addressing UCDW in the ASEAN.

For further information on the issues raised in this paper please email