Three Facets of Public Health and Paths to Improvements - Chapter 10 - A woman's (unpaid) work: Global perspectives on gender, healthcare, and caregiving

Elsevier, Three Facets of Public Health and Paths to Improvements: Behavior, Culture, and Environment, 2020, Pages 261-294
Yara Asi and Cynthia Williams

Women make up most of the global unpaid labor force in healthcare, performing work worth trillions of dollars annually. However, this work often limits their personal and professional opportunities and perpetuates gender disparities. The outsized role of women caregivers is attributed to historical, cultural, and social perspectives on gender and caregiving that perpetuate the gender inequalities in unpaid care work. In this chapter, we analyze women in unpaid work considering two regions: The United States and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). We compare these regions along social, political, and historical contexts, including use of two vignettes. As a result of the comparisons, we make several key recommendations, framed by Bronfenbrenner's ecological model, which include: (1) generating awareness for US women caregivers to receive compensation, and (2) developing the job industry to embrace women caregivers in MENA countries.