Distinguish between ‘care economy’ and ‘monetized economy’. How can care economy be brought into monetized economy through women empowerment?

Model Answer


Care Economy includes invisible unpaid or underpaid activities such as taking care of children, elderly, household work etc. On the other hand, Monetised economy includes exchange of goods and services at market determined rates.


CriteriaCare EconomyMonetised Economy
Activities includedHousehold work, childcare, Elderly care etc.Agriculture, Manufacturing, Banking, IT/ITeS etc.
ImportanceEnsures well-being of the society and supports Monetised EconomyEnsures production of marketable Goods and Services
Effect on PovertyMay Lead to Income and Time PovertyMay lead to Income poverty
WagesUnpaid or underpaidMarket determined wages
Included in GDPNoYes

According to ILO, Care Economy accounts for 9% of global GDP with a size of around $11 trillion. However, due to Feminization of Care Economy, Women spend 8X more time on care work than men in India. (NSO’s Time Use Survey).

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ILO’s 5R framework for Decent Care Work which include – Recognise, Reduce, Redistribute, Reward and Representation to empower women and transform the care economy. Strategies include:

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Recognise: Beijing Platform for Action has recommended the implementation of time-use surveys to capture, quantify and value care economy. Ex: Columbia’s Care Economy law.Adequate Investment in care infrastructure such as Pre-Primary Education, Health, Electricity, drinking water, LPG connection etc. For example, additional 2% investment would create 11 million additional jobs in India.

Social Protection Policies

  • Allow tax deductions of care-related expenses by the households for formalisation of domestic workers.
  • Provide for the cash transfer to women so that they can purchase childcare services from domestic workers.

Promote active labour market policies:

  • Paid maternity leave and Paternity leave to care for the children.
  • Efficient implementation of Public Works Programme such as MGNREGA
  • Enhance skill set through vocational training and retraining to enhance employability.
  • Provide Gender-sensitive work environments such as reduced or flexible working hours. 
  • Facilitate entry of women into Gig Economy
  • Nurture and promote women led SHGs.

Redistribute: Support NGOs and Private sector to care for the children and Elderly Ex: Old age homes, Pre-Primary Schools etc.


The above-mentioned strategies can contribute to meeting goals of SDG 1 (end poverty); SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives); SDG 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education); SDG 5 (achieve gender equality); SDG 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation) etc.

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