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Suggested Resources on Gender, Care, and Unpaid Labor

Wait…What?! Is a platform for candid discussion for the Women’s Fund community to convene on emerging issues we all face, albeit with varied challenges.

As the holiday season approaches and families gather to celebrate various occasions, we want to take an opportunity to reflect on the additional duties that women carry. Women tend to be the first people called upon to care for sick and elderly loved ones. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, women remain the main providers of informal long-term care. They must meet the needs of ailing family members (in most cases, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles) along with juggling work and family obligations while neglecting their own health and well-being.

For our December “Wait…What?!”, Women’s Fund CEO, Donna Haghighat, will be in conversation with Dr. Nancy Folbre, an expert on economics and the family. This discussion will include the impact of caregiving on women’s careers and their livelihoods and the physical, psychological, social, financial, and emotional burdens associated with this form of unpaid labor.

Our Community Investments Manager, Nicole M. Young-Martin, has curated a list of additional resources and readings on Gender, Care, and Unpaid Labor:


Please consider ordering these books through The Ethnic Study CoWork Café & Bookstore or Olive Tree Books-n-Voices, two local, independent bookstores owned by women of color in Springfield.

  •  The Gender Pay Gap: Understanding the Numbers by Fatma Abdel-Raouf, Patricia M. Buhler
  • Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Career and Caregiving by Caitlyn Collins
  • The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values by Nancy Folbre
  • Valuing Children: Rethinking the Economics of the Family by Nancy Folbre
  • Women and the Economy: Family, Work and Pay (4th Edition) by Saul D. Hoffman and Susan Averett
  • Women, Work, and Power: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality by Torben Iversen and Frances Rosenbluth
  • Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength by Chenequa Walker-Barns 


Advocacy Organizations and Ways to Get Involved