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Harmonizing Global Care Policy? Care and the Commission on the Status of Women

Bedford, Kate (2010) Harmonizing Global Care Policy? Care and the Commission on the Status of Women. Project report. UN Research Institute for Social Development (KAR id:25003)

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In March 2009 Member States of the United Nations met in New York at the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) to discuss, among other things, the priority theme of “The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS”. This meeting provided an unprecedented opportunity to focus the international community’s attention on care issues and to generate Agreed Conclusions that would lay out a roadmap for care policy, potentially influencing national legislation, policies adopted by UN entities and future international agreements. Using interviews with participants and an overview of official documentation, this paper seeks to summarize the achievements of the 2009 CSW, and to suggest where policy conversations about care might usefully focus next.

In an attempt to consider where care conversations might usefully focus next, the paper closes with a discussion of two issues that received less attention at the 2009 CSW: disability and diversity of family formation. These two issues are highly relevant to care debates, at the UN level and elsewhere, and can help move global policy forward in fruitful directions. That said, policy conversations will need to be reframed to take them into account. This task will in some ways challenge the consensus on care forged at the 2009 CSW. For example, the progress made in carrying forward the global gender equality project via a unifying focus on care is in part based on a consensus about care-givers as the central actors, a position challenged by disability activism and scholarship. Likewise, the agreements forged at the 2009 CSW in many ways entrenched the notion that privatized nuclear family units were a universally desirable model for care provision, a notion challenged by a range of actors who recognize the role of extended family members in care, and/or who want to secure more support for the diverse forms through which care is provided. A reframing of care debates will be necessary if new alliances with such actors are to be forged and strengthened. While the paper seeks to explicate the immense value of the Agreed Conclusions forged at the 2009 CSW for future efforts to secure care services, it also aims to explore the limitations of those agreements and highlight the importance of continuing the conversation on care to grapple with current exclusions.

Item Type: Monograph (Project report)
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] Political and Social Economy of Care
Additional information: ISSN: 1994-8026
Subjects: K Law
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Depositing User: Eve Dyer
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2010 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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