Care work: The quest for security

"...Mary Daly has provided researchers and policymakers with an informative and well-documented resource. Americans, especially, can learn a lot from this international survey of how governments can help eliminate much of the mess in arranging for high quality care for its most needy citizens."
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, Vol. 30, June 2003, USA

This insightful volume argues that care workers – those looking after children, the elderly and people with disabilities – require security similar to any other group of workers. It provides a valuable overview and analysis of care work as a relevant social policy phenomenon in industrialized and developing countries around the world, while exploring pivotal questions such as how provisions for care are made, who is to benefit, and who is to pay.

In the past, policymakers, economists, and statisticians have made little attempt to measure the extent or incidence of care work, let alone its economic and social value. This book contributes to the debate surrounding the compensation, legitimization and regulation of care work. It examines how care work is defined and treated in different parts of the world such as Western Europe, India, Brazil, and Russia. Performed predominately by women, care work is treated in a markedly different way between developed and developing countries, and this study explores the cultural specificities involved in this difference.

Taking an empirical as well as a conceptual approach, Care Work also discusses various types of policy interventions such as cash payments, taxation allowances, different types of paid and unpaid leave, social security credits and other mostly unpaid benefits for those providing care.