The feminist promise: National Care System 2024/07/08

The feminist promise: National Care System 2024/07/08
The feminist promise: National Care System 2024/07/08

Of all the things that the presidential candidate promised during the last campaign, one on which there was consensus was the National Care System, an initiative that has been promoted for several years and whose creation was even approved by the Chamber of Deputies during the previous legislature. The system was not approved by the Senate of the Republic because it did not have the commitment of the current federal government to implement it.

A National Care System is a comprehensive set of policies and programs designed by the government to ensure equal and quality access to care services for all people who need them. This system is aimed at supporting people in situations of dependency, such as children, the elderly, people with disabilities and sick people, as well as professionalizing those who perform care work. A well-implemented system would represent a very significant change in the lives of both the recipients of care, who would have access to higher quality and more professional care, and women, who are usually the ones who take on care tasks in the home.

Because of them, the care system is not only framed within social security policies, but also as an intrinsically feminist initiative, and it was precisely in a meeting with women, a few days ago, where the virtual president-elect, Claudia Sheinbaum, committed to implementing it.

There are some countries, such as Canada, Japan, Sweden and Uruguay, that have implemented successful care policies based mainly on daycare services and preschool and basic education with extended hours, day centres for the elderly and care, both in centres and at home for people with disabilities and the sick.

The benefits for care recipients are clear, but let’s also look at the impact of such policies on the economy: In Canada, for example, investment in child care has shown a significant economic return. A report from the University of Toronto highlighted that every dollar invested in child care generates up to $2.50 in economic activity. In Sweden, the welfare system has allowed female labor force participation rates to be among the highest in the world. According to data from the World Economic Forum, the female labor force participation rate in Sweden is 82%, one of the highest in the world. In Uruguay, the National Integrated Care System (SNIC) has helped improve gender equity and professionalize the care sector, generating employment and improving the working conditions of caregivers.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that well-designed care policies can significantly increase female labour force participation and improve economic well-being. A McKinsey report suggests that closing gender gaps in the labour market could increase global GDP by $12 trillion by 2025, with care systems playing a crucial role in this process. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has underlined that investment in the care economy could create millions of new jobs and contribute significantly to sustainable economic development.

The problems of Mexicans are many and very complex, and the current administration has opted for a system of direct support that certainly represents an important relief for families, but if the next government opts for transformative policies in the medium and long term, such as education and the care system itself, the well-being of people in general and of women in particular will be much greater and, above all, will be sustainable.

Political scientist and internationalist.
Former President of the Chamber of Deputies

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