CAPRI presented the findings of its study on unpaid care work at a public forum on Thursday, November 30, 2017, at the Spanish Court Hotel's Worthington Building. Representatives from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and the University of the West Indies’ Institute for Gender Studies joined CAPRI’s Affiliate Researcher, Dr. Adwoa Onuora, for the panel discussion.
Onuora explained that policy interest in and research on barriers to women’s participation in the labour market in general, and the care economy in particular, have grown significantly in the 2000s, in large part due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) promoting “the economic case for gender equity,” carrying out research on its many different aspects, and including gender considerations and recommendations in its programmes and surveillance.
Onuora also indicated that CAPRI’s research features a pilot time use survey, the first ever to be conducted in Jamaica. The survey’s main findings show that Jamaica follows the general trend in the differences in time that men and women spend on unpaid care work and on paid, productive work. She further added that if Jamaica’s policy makers are concerned with increasing labour force participation and productivity, care needs must be addressed. CAPRI has recommended that vouchers be issued by the state and redeemable for child and elderly care services through registered and licensed providers. The recommendation is for the government to subsidise the care economy through the provision of vouchers that can be redeemed only by registered day care and nursing care facilities.