June 23, 2021

An army of carers | Society

An army of carers | Society



An incomplete welfare state, like Spanish, is a hindrance for most of its inhabitants. The most disadvantaged are, without a doubt, those with the lowest purchasing power. But the specially damaged section is the feminine one. See, for example, the last Active Population Survey to verify the enormity of this burden, which is also going to be worse. The number of Spanish women working part-time to care for family members increased last year (by 30.7% compared to the previous year). Now they are an army of 344,800 women who obviously join those who take care of their relatives and who do not have gainful employment or make impossible balances in their daily lives.

All States have contracted a gigantic debt with women throughout history and it is unfortunate that this continues to increase in the 21st century at the cost of their contribution, neither paid nor valued. Since the Beijing Women's Conference in 1995, various agencies have accounted for this contribution. The figures are huge. The expert in this matter María Ángeles Durán has calculated that in Spain caring for dependents equals 28 million full-time jobs. Those who care for children (less and less), the sick and the elderly (increasingly) are almost always (in 76% of cases according to the UN) women. And the situation not only does not improve as we would expect in this historical moment of the #MeToo and the massive mobilizations. When it comes to sacrifice, they look the other way while society questions them almost exclusively. In Spain, last year the number of men who opted for a part-time job to take care of some of their own decreased.

A lot of public money is required to attend to all the people who need it and the solution, at the moment, is to help little and late to many, to neglect almost a third part and, of course, to entrust to the majority female effort what the State can not or does not want to offer. The consequence is that of always: a drastic reduction of time, expectations and salaries of the female population.

In this context, the electoral promises of lowering taxes sound obscene, unless they are accompanied by proposals for reforms that reduce public spending on other items and increase those dedicated to the welfare of the population. It is not easy to solve the problem and it would help a lot to change mentalities so that men who care for their own are not a rarity.

To that army of women who leave so many things in the way to take care of their own, yes, we should impose patriotism medals.

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