“Equal Care Day” is a new community initiative which calls on institutions worldwide to mark an international Equal Care Day. Launched originally on 29th February 2016, Equal Care Day aims to raise awareness of how caring and carers are undervalued in our society. Like the equal pay gap, there is an equal care gap with an unfair distribution of caring responsibilities between men and women.
Originally the initiative for an “Equal Care Day” was launched by Almut Schnerring and Sascha Verlan. It is now carried out under the umbrella of the non-profit association klische*esc e.V. based in Bonn, Germany.Care work is mostly invisible work and often ignored, just like the leap day of February 29. Therefore ‘Equal Care Day’ is to be held on the on 29th of February in leap years, or, by necessity, on 1st March in all other years.
80 percent of care work is done by women, 20 percent by man, whether at home, as voluntary work or as a profession. Therefore, men need four times longer than women to do the same amount of care work. This is another reason to hold “Equal Care Day” every four years on February 29.
Raising and educating children, caring for the sick and elderly, people with disabilities, the ‘mental load’*: Who cares? Who nourishes and cooks, who feeds, cleans up, does the laundry? Who takes care and – at what price?! All too often women personal decisions are blamed for this systematic imbalance. It is argued that the distribution of labor would lie in the nature of things. “Motherly love” and empathy are just something girls are born into, right? Why does a cloudy reminiscence of the Stone Age justify the lack of appreciation for care work? And why does this narrative suffice to financially disadvantage caring people throughout their lives?
‘Equal Care Day’ initiative demands fair pay of professional care work and fair distribution of private care work as well as the dismantling of structural discrimination. Starting with organizations that are active in care work, family work and gender equality, the initiative offers everyone the chance to become engaged and discuss solutions collectively.
Please help us to permanently keep the topic ‘care’ in public consciousness. Use 29th February as a day of action for your own projects, such as conferences, rallies, discussions and parties … and get in touch with us!
Klische*esc e.V. is providing an overarching roof for ‘Equal Care Day’ and a common logo in order to unite all events happening on the 29th of February 2020. Klische*esc e.V. will further coordinate the German public relations work and invites people and organizations from other countries to get involved and act collectively.
Illustrations by Till Lassmann · www.till-lassmann.de