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Wait…What?! Gender, Care, and Unpaid Labor Recording

“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 approached and families gathered to celebrate various occasions, we wanted 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, hosted a conversation with Dr. Nancy Folbre, an expert on economics and the family. This discussion includes 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.

Meet the Guest Speaker

Dr. Nancy Folbre

Nancy Folbre is Professor Emerita of Economics and Director of the Program on Gender and Care Work at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a Senior Fellow of the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College in the United States. Her research explores the interface between political economy and feminist theory, with a particular emphasis on the value of unpaid care work. In addition to numerous articles published in academic journals, she is the author of The Rise and Decline of Patriarchal Systems (Verso, 2021), the editor of For Love and Money: Care Work in the U.S. (Russell Sage, 2012), and the author of Greed, Lust, and Gender: A History of Economic Ideas (Oxford, 2009), Valuing Children: Rethinking the Economics of the Family (Harvard, 2008), and The Invisible Heart: Economics and Family Values (New Press, 2001). She has also written widely for a popular audience, including contributions to the New York Times Economix blog, The Nation, and the American Prospect.

You can learn more about her at her website and blog, Care Talk:

Watch the previous Wait…What?! on BIPOC Women and Mental Health Recording

Wait…What?! BIPOC Women and Mental Health Recording