Women and Caregiving. An Obligation or a Satisfaction

I agree with the ideas expressed here. Good food for thought.

The Green Dog Chronicles. My New Life in Navia


(Adapted and abridged from http://mujerdelmediterraneo.heroinas.net/2012/10/mujeres-cuidadoras-entre-la-obligacion.html ) (Translation: Maritsa Solares Rico)
Women Caregivers: Obligation and satisfaction
Caring is at the present time the most necessary action against patriarchal neoliberalism and inequitable globalization. And yet, today’s societies, like many in the past, undervalue care and relegate it to a natural condition based on social organisation and assigned to those seen as less necessary for economic production.
Nowadays, it is still mainly women who care for others (men, families, daughters and sons, relatives, communities, schoolchildren, patients, people with special needs).
The condition of caregivers gratifies women emotionally and symbolically in a world governed by money, the economic valuation of work and political power. The inherent value of money and power are questioned by the actions of caregivers. The prestige of caregiving, which is conceptualized as ‘maternal’, because it is associated with nurturing, does not serve women for their individual development and neither can…

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3 thoughts on “Women and Caregiving. An Obligation or a Satisfaction

  1. Swarn,

    I enjoyed your summary to this article as much as the piece itself. For me the article points to a sort of entangled mess of concerns related to the way our values shape the structure of our world, and calls for a shift in those values as much as anything else. Which I agree with completely. We’re all sort of caught in the world’s web, and for us to move in new directions can require bucking a strong current. A worthwhile endeavor of course, but one that requires energy and resources.


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  2. Thanks for sharing, Swarn. I read through the linked blog, and although I don’t know what the author means by patriarchal neoliberalism, inequitable globalization, or savage capitalism, and if I did, I have a feeling that I would disagree with what she thought about them; but, nevertheless, undervaluing of caregiving seems to be a real problem. For example, from what I understand about wage inequalities between men and women, the bulk of inequality lies in caregiving jobs, which pay less and are held predominantly by women.

    In my own home, I know that, as a stay-at-home mom, my wife feels undervalued, hopefully not by me, but by society and from what she tells me about conversations she has with other women, it’s fairly common. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg problem, but it seems to me that if more women placed greater value on their own caregiving contributions, society would follow suit.

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    1. Well I think those terms are rather redundant as they are all about the same thing. Globalization has allowed many western countries who are already wealthy to exploit countries with unstable governments and lax labor laws, environmental regulations, etc. Unrestrained free market capitalism is really not about care. Whether it’s about each other, family, or the environment. I am not someone wholly against capitalism, and see its upside, but to pretend that there are losers in that system would be wrong. And women tend to be the biggest losers, because men still hold most of the power, and that tends to be greater in poorer countries that place less value on gender equality. And yet many of those women are expected to work to be part of this mass consumerist model, while also expected to bear the entire burden of child-rearing in accordance with traditional cultural norms. This is true even here, but to a lesser extent.


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