Gender, Social Rights and Multiple Inequalities: A Normative Framework for the Analysis of Long-Term Care Policies

Monday, 16 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Rossella CICCIA, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
Long-term care policies addresses issues of growing concern – population ageing and gender inequality – and are one of the most rapidly developing area of intervention in mature welfare states. These policies reflect differences in social policy approaches to age, disability, class and gender divisions and, thus, offer a privileged standpoint to understand the dynamic interaction between multiple inequalities, their relative prevalence across contexts and the extent to which they are institutionalised as antagonistic or reconcilable. This article proposes a normative framework to analyse the multidimensionality of long-term care policies and reforms based on four types of social rights: the right to perform care (R1); the right to opt-out of caring (R2); 3) the right to be cared (R3); the rights of care workers (R4). There are historical differences in the extent that women’s groups have fought for R1 and/or R2, groups of the elderly and disabled have mostly advanced claims concerning R3 and the political mobilization of care workers (including migrant associations) around R4 is a recent phenomenon in many countries. While these rights are often portrayed in opposition, only LTC policies promoting all four types of rights realize inclusive forms of equality. This normative ideal is then translated into a policy blueprint to reconcile the needs of multiple social groups (women, family carers, formal carers, care receivers), and is used to assess policy developments in a range of European countries. This framework has broader application and is particularly suited to investigate discursive and institutional dynamics, including resistances and alliances between social movements and political actors, around the reform of care policies. This article adds to existing gender welfare state scholarship by developing an analytical tool sensitive to multiple inequalities and contributing to normative discussions around desirable policies, instruments and goals from a gender perspective.