The Challenge of Care Policies and Gender Equality in Uruguay

Saturday, 4 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.2.03 (Tower One)
Karina Batthyany, Universidad de la República, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Montevideo, Uruguay
The issue of care and family responsibilities, mainly the care of children and dependents, directly raises the question about the position of women and their equality in different areas of society, but mainly in the area of family and work. While there are common features to all women who have family and care responsibilities, women are not an homogeneous group, as their responsibilities depend on their social class, their racial belonging, age, marital status or place of residence.
The general increase in female labour participation rate,  reframes the question of family obligations and how to share them. Who bears the costs of care? How should  the roles and responsibilities between the state, the family, the market and the community be shared? The different responses that can be given to these questions, the intervention and the articulation of different actors around care issues, is a determinant element of the position of women in the family and in the labor market, as well asin the effective capacity to exercise the rights attached to social citizenship.
Uruguay discussed at this moment the implementation of a National System of Care in response to this problem. This article presents, from a gender and rights perspective, the conceptual framework  and the main elements of this process based on research results conducted during the past five years.