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Equal Care Day 2023 – more visibility for migrant and refugee women too?

Berlin, 01.03.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX. Today is Equal Care Day, a day of action that draws attention to the lack of appreciation and unfair distribution of care work, nursing and care work. But care work does not affect all women equally. 

Every year, the Equal Care Day on 29.02. or 01.03/84, how care work affects us all. Not only do women spend more time than men on unpaid care work, but women also do the mammoth part of professional care work in Germany. Whether in day-care centers, private care services, hospitals or in the cleaning sector – they achieve an overall average of XNUMX percent. And it can be assumed that these numbers have only increased further due to the Corona pandemic, because Corona has shown us who is "systemically important". But nothing more than applause happened.

Women, especially those with a migration or refugee background, bear the brunt of care work. Both in the private sector and in the wage labor sector, more than four times more women than men work in the classic care areas, and there mostly in the low-wage sector. And it is precisely in the low-wage sector that the proportion of women with a migration or refugee background is extremely high. Germany has the largest low-wage sector in the EU and women in precarious working conditions often do not even earn the minimum wage. Their qualifications are not recognised, their professional experience is not taken into account, they often work several mini-jobs or part-time to keep themselves and their families afloat. That also means that women, especially those with a history of flight or migration, pay for their own disadvantage at the end of their lives because they receive little pension. This applies all the more to migrant and refugee women, who, in addition to discrimination based on gender, experience other institutional and structural discrimination on a daily basis.

This everyday reality is multifaceted: a registered nurse's degree is not recognised, she has to work three jobs in cleaning despite being more qualified than many others. The older siblings have to pick up the younger ones from daycare or take responsibility at parents' evenings. The state abandons them, and in the same process they are subjected to racialized and culturalized attributions and discrimination. Participating in a neighborhood meeting or getting involved in a political party are dreams that fade in the fog of reality.

“So changing that inequality means more than a little correction or a little redistribution. Only if care work is distributed fairly between the sexes does everyone have the same opportunity to participate in society, politically and economically, in culture and science, professionally and privately - at all levels. Care Work is not private, it is political!” says Rudaba Badakhshi, regional coordinator of the project Together MUTig from DaMigra, which advocates the fair participation of women with refugee and migration experiences in society as a whole.

Reality and statistics show us that change must come. Society and politics must not simply recognize care work and applause from the balcony is not enough for us. We demand higher wages, especially in the low-wage sector, and structural legislation to combat precariousness in the labor market. Time to no longer focus on maximizing profits, but on the needs of people. Only such an alternative will ensure that care work, whether paid or unpaid, does not continue to be distributed according to racial, gender or class structures.

DaMigra eV represents the interests of women migrant organizations and their concerns and advocates equal opportunities, equal participation and the equality of women with a history of migration and refugee experience in Germany. DaMigra follows the approach of anti-racist feminism.


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