Definition of Problem

The following issues have been identified as obstacles to unpaid caregivers accessing full equality and dignity:

Legal rights

  • lack of enabling of rights of parents to choice, liberty, freedom of thought, and  freedom to choose care style of those they love
  • failure to accommodate basic needs of unpaid caregivers
  • failure to accommodate basic needs of those who receive care to dignity, freedom,

Exclusion from official tallies

  • exclusion of caregiving roles in official tallies of work, labor force activity, productivity of the gross domestic product, leading to misconceptions of the role as not working, laziness and failure to contribute to the economy
  • absence of women in decision making
  • absence of unpaid caregivers in consultations about laws that affect them

Penalties of social stigma and in the language

  • historical social stigma for the care role in the language and in public policy
  • failure to recognize the skills developed as caregiver
  • historical treatment of the unpaid caregiver as less intelligent, less competent than paid workers and less expert than paid caregivers
  • failure to recognize the unpaid caregiver as a full person, treatment akin to servant status, with performance of the care role obliged by the law yet not remunerated, penalized in the nonperformance but not remunerated in the performance,

Discrimination based on gender and factors analogous to gender

  • historical discrimination against women compared to men
  • historical discrimination against the roles women do compared to roles men do, against the caregiving role, seeing it as of less value to society
  • historical discrimination against married women compared to single women, to women with children compared to women without children, and to women who are unpaid caregivers compared to women with paid work
  • discrimination against the care role, itself, analogous to gender, so that males who provide unpaid care are also undervalued and males who provide paid care are also underpaid.

Tax penalties for the care role

  • high incidence of women and children in poverty
  • tax systems that penalize income sharing
  • tax systems that penalize some care options and reward others
  • tax incentives to favor care of children away from family, depriving children of the right be raised in a family setting, in the presence of family where possible and in the language and culture of their parents
  • tax incentives to favor care apart from family depriving parents of the right to raise their children in the care style they choose , in the  language and culture decide the care style of their children
  • failure to recognize the traditional caregiving role, forcing those who provide care into poverty during the period of caregiving
  • failure to value the unpaid care role in the pension plan, forcing them into financial dependency and resulting in the feminization of poverty

Discrimination against the care receiver

  • discrimination between children and unequal benefit under the law, favoring some care styles over others
  • discrimination based on family status, source of income of parents, identity of parents by blood to the child compared to children cared for by non-relatives, favoring financially non-family based care
  • deprivation of full rights of dignity of care receiver and freedom to have input in to decisions about caregiver and care style
  • discrimination in salary and social status against any role dealing with children, the handicapped or frail elderly to be less well remunerated than those who provide services to healthy adults
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