The construction of comprehensive care systems is a fundamental factor in achieving the empowerment of women and gender equality, and it is a key element in socioeconomic recovery in that it creates jobs both directly and indirectly and enables other sectors of the economy to function adequately. For these reasons, UN Women and ECLAC are calling for the governments in the region to put care at the center of their responses to COVID-19, by creating incentive and recovery packages, promoting comprehensive systems that ensure access to care for people who need it, and guaranteeing the rights of those who provide it. These comprehensive care systems can become a real driver for a socioeconomic recovery which leaves nobody behind.
This document substantiates the importance of care work for societies, defines the care sector’s current condition in Latin America and the Caribbean and describes the impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the contingency measures that have been implemented in various countries in the region to address the crisis. The document concludes with a series of policy recommendations to address the care crisis as a way out of the COVID-19 crisis.