Care and Public Policy Colloquium

Public Policy and Financing

What do we mean by “care”? How have the social transformations of the last decades in Latin America, influenced this subject? What role do social policies play in the context of these processes?

Given that at some point in life, every human being needs to be cared for by someone, the  question that then arises is, who are the caregivers? Under certain assumptions on the allocation of roles and certain myths such as “maternal instinct”, this question was historically not addressed. However, considering the economic and social changes that have been taking place in Latin America in recent decades, it has become necessary to open up the debate to think and re-look at these issues.

In this context, Equity for Children and UNTREF organized the colloquium Care and Public Policy under the umbrella  of activities for  Perspectives on Children and Urban social issues, to debate and share ideas on the problems of urban policies for the elimination of child poverty and inequality and contribute to the municipal  development and strengthening towards the full realization of the rights of children and adolescents.

The central axis of the debate proposed by Elizabeth Jelin, Patricia Redondo and Eleonor Faur, focused on how gender, the distribution of roles and family patterns are connected to the issue of care and how it is designed and managed -by action or omission- from social policies. In this sense, the panelists noted that often, despite their good intentions, social policies reinforce stereotypes and differential responsibilities, especially in regard to gender, which ends up accentuating the existing inequities.

Similarly, and noting some interesting experiences in Latin America, they pointed out that it is very important to work from the state on the offer of care, bearing in mind the relationship it now has with the educational system and how it follows stratifying access and quality of care, according to the possibilities of each social sector.

From the agreement of the need to position the issue of care on the public agenda, discussions and questions remain open. In the case of children, addressing inequalities in access and quality of care becomes essential to ensure the welfare, pointing to a larger framework of equity for children.


Eleonar Faur

Equity for Children interviewed Eleonor Faur, argentinian researcher, in view of the publication of her new book The Child Care in the XXI Century, juggling women in an unequal society.In this exchange, the author poses some major challenges for public policy regarding the expansion and improvement of care services, analyzing some possible strategies to address the issue, following a search for greater equality on the responsibility between the sexes and lower inequality by source class of every children.Read more…


Elizabeth JelinIn this interview Elizabeth Jelin, an argentinian researcher at the Institute for Economic and Social Development, reflects on the importance of placing the issue of care in the wellness center and the importance of having good research to make accurate diagnoses of, for example, the living conditions of today’s  families and their homes, to provide good tools for decision-making in public policy and allow them to collaborate on reducing existing inequalities. Read more…

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