NGO CSW/NY Participation in the International Day of Care and Support Events

By: Carla Cordova, NGO CSW/NY Social Media & Communications Intern

This past week, the NGO CSW/NY team participated in two important events on the Work Care and Support agenda: the launch of the State of the World's Fathers 2023 Report in the US with UN Women and the first commemoration of the International Day of Care and Support at the UN Headquarters.

According to the State of the World's Father Report, women spend two hours and 48 minutes more time than men on household chores and caring for loved ones, emphasizing the importance of equal development in this critical activity for human well-being. 

"Men should and must demonstrate their commitment to promoting gender equality beyond the confines of their homes, in their communities, workplaces, and among their peers, " expressed Mohammad Naciri, Chief of Staff at UN Women.

Furthermore, Houry Geudelekian, NGO CSW/NY Past Chair and Advocacy Consultant, expressed the importance of presenting material like this “to bring to our circles, our activism, and our personal beliefs and evolution. It is very important to not give up and to use the data and experiences to promote care and support work and give value to the pleasure—not the chore—of caring for our loved ones. A local-to-global strategy of work care that considers the eradication of violence against women will create a more peaceful world. 

The report, made by Equimundo, is available here, as is the recording of the event.

Houry Geudelekian, NGO CSW/NY Past Chair and Advocacy Consultant, presented at the launch of the State of the World's Fathers 2023 report by Equimundo. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

NGO CSW/NY Co-Chair, Ivy Koek, and Past Chair & Advocacy Consultant, Houry Geudelekian attend the first commemoration of the International Day of Care and Support at the United Nations. Photo: Carla Cordova, NGO CSW/NY

On Tuesday, October 31, UN Member States, advocates, and other representatives gathered for the first time to commemorate the International Day of Care and Support, which was established by a landmark resolution (A/RES/77/317), facilitated by the Permanent Missions of Chile and Spain to the United Nations. 

Paula Narvaez, President of ECOSOC and Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, emphasized that “domestic work is still being considered invisible and unattended in economic and social politics”. For this reason, building a support system for care workers and caregivers is fundamental to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG #5.

The takeaways of the UN Member State participants in the event (Chile, Mexico, Spain, the Philippines, and Colombia) addressed care and support as a need, a human right, and an important goal to achieve and promote the Human Rights Agenda. Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, encouraged other UN Members to develop partnerships to work on policies related to care and support. 

However, as expressed by Leonor Zalabata, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the United Nations, this political and structural change must start with a “mentality change that makes people understand that care and support are a collective responsibility”. Following this idea, Antje Leendertse, Permanent Representative of Germany to the United Nations, concluded that “we not only need girls who code but also boys who care”. 

Young participants in the event were influential in understanding how the excess of care work attempts to educate girls and adolescents. Alliyah Logan, Youth Advisor for the Adolescent Girls’ Hub at UNICEF, questioned how we invest in girls' education when they are caregivers.  

The recording of this event, organized by ILO, OHCHR, and UN Women, is available here.

The state of care and support is a fundamental topic considered by NGO CSW/NY, and has been included in our Monthly Meetings as well as in recommendations and dialogue with UN Member States, NGO representatives, and civil society. The time to care and support is now!