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WIDE News, Number 1, 2009
News from January 2009
gender equality
social justice
1. WIDE Annual Conference 2009 ‘Care Economy and Care Crisis’,
18–20 June, Basel, Switzerland
2. EU prepares 2009 report on policy coherence for development:
gender considered unimportant yet again
3. UK GADN roundtables on aid effectiveness and climate change
include gender in the debates
4. Multifaceted crisis needs innovative response
5. New resources
6. Call for papers and contributions
7. Site-seeing
WIDE Annual Conference 2009 ‘Care
Economy and Care Crisis’,
18–20 June, Basel, Switzerland
Care is a universal feature among all human
beings, but the social organisation of care
changes over place and time. The way care is
organised in the society is decisive for gender
relations and gender equality. In our modern
societies, care work – paid and unpaid – is a
practice and a reality for many women all
around the world. However, it is characterised
by enormous asymmetries between women
and men, as a result of which the gendered
division of labour and valuation of work have
been central motives for critical feminist theory
and feminist struggles since the 1970s. The
care economy, even if a quantitatively
predominant sector of economy, remains “the
outlying other” of mainstream economics, and
the dominant approaches of social and
In the context of the global financial crisis,
growing poverty, food crises, climate change
and HIV/AIDS, a care crisis is becoming more
and more evident. The solutions to tackle the
crisis proposed by the political, economical
and humanitarian mainstream – public
austerity policies, monetisation of care and
commercialisation of essential public services,
(re-)privatisation of care into households while
simultaneously forcing market access for
women – are challenging for feminists in many
ways. By assuming that women are by nature
dedicated to care, the mainstream is
(re)constructing care work as women’s work.
At the same time, alternative development
concepts and economic structures such as the
care- and provision-driven economy in which
women have always been key actors are
further marginalised. Moreover, global and
local care regimes are establishing new
unequal divisions of labour between women of
different classes and origins.
What are the links between care crises,
proposed remedies and gender inequalities?
What kind of solutions do we have as feminists
to challenge the intersectional structures of
power, the binary gender order and the old and
newly reshaped inequalities, and to promote
alternative concepts of work, time, benefit,
livelihood and well-being?
Care and unpaid work have been important
topics for the new feminist movement for a
long time. The way to discuss them, however,
has changed. The WIDE Annual Conference
2009 will provide space for discussing the
issues from different perspectives – North,
East and South – and for learning more about
paid and unpaid care work and about the
current debates related to care, work, workers
and working conditions. It will try to link the
care economy to the other aspects of the
economy, particularly to the global financial
crisis and to the ongoing debates on
development and welfare in which gender
equality and social justice are at stake. The
conference will also encourage debate on
questions, lost in the process of gender

WIDE newsletter = WIDE news [2009], 1 (Jan) - 1/9