International Workshop: Sustainable Economy and Green Growth – who cares?
Analysis, Findings and Demands from a Care Perspective
Against the backdrop of a multiplicity of crises, the concepts of the “Green New Deal” and “green growth” are often promoted as the path to sustainable development and as a strategy for finding solutions to the various economic, ecological and social crises we face. Yet economic growth does not necessarily result in sustainability or the satisfaction of human needs, or indeed wealth. Women’s networks and feminist economists have thus called for a change in how we view the economy and how we go about conducting economic activities. This kind of paradigm shift requires both a revaluation and appreciation of nature and the (unpaid) care work conducted (mainly) by women, without slipping into the logic of utilisation, privatisation and market-economy principles.
The inclusion of the care economy in the concept of sustainable “green” economy could provide an answer to the question of how to distribute wealth more fairly and satisfy human needs within ecological boundaries. With reference to gender justice, and economic and environmental justice, women’s organisations have frequently pointed out that gender perspective is largely missing in the discussions about sustainable development and the “green economy”. With an international workshop at the beginning of 2013, we want to start a discussion about how the care economy and green economy can be combined. In doing so, we want to talk about and develop ideas with women’s networks and civil society organisations. To provide a starting point for the discussion in preparation for the workshop we have put together a background paper with an analysis, as well as research, findings and statements from civil society. It focuses particularly on the following questions:
- How can the principles of care economy be anchored in the concept of sustainable economy?
- How can social and economic structures be changed to tackle the uneven distribution of paid and unpaid care work?
- Are there perhaps already approaches or practices in which care and sustainable economy are combined, either informally or within businesses?