Campaigns, Policy and Advocacy
We campaign for long-lasting sustainable change. This means challenging power imbalances that keep people poor.
Through campaigning, we keep pressure on governments and corporations to make real change in people’s lives.
Here are some of the issues we are working on:
Much of women’s domestic labour – while critical to society- is unpaid and not considered work. For instance, caring responsibilities or domestic tasks.
Additionally, women’s paid labour is more likely to be in unpaid or precarious labour. This is impacted by a number of factors including economic and labour policies, global corporate practices and family dynamics.
We focus on economic justice for women by amplifying the voices of women and addressing the structural barriers that lead to exploitation: these include unjust economic policies, such as the privatisation of the public services on which women depend, and patriarchal social norms. Specially we:
- Push for the recognition, reduction and redistribution of women’s unpaid work, by lobbying for investment in gender-responsive public services, and strengthening women’s awareness of their rights as unpaid caregivers
- Work with feminist organisations, trade unions and informal labour organisations to respond to women’s demands for decent work
- Engage in policy and advocacy from local to global levels, addressing norms and practices that affect particularly marginalised and excluded women
It is the state’s responsibility to deliver on basic rights, such as to health, education or water through public services.
When the state fails, it is women’s unpaid work that often substitutes for the ‘care’ that should be delivered through these services. This entails a systemic transfer of hidden subsidies from women to the rest of the economy — effectively a time-tax on women.
Significantly, it is the poorest women, and those in marginalised areas, who cannot afford to buy-in services or have little or no access to services, who are often the hardest hit from a lack of good quality and free public services. This means their unfair burden of care is heaviest – the very women who need more time for working their way out of poverty.
#AllWomenWork campaign highlights the importance of public services with gender equality in mind. Ultimately, we’re calling to “make care fairer”.
ActionAid’s “Who Cares…” report links women’s unpaid care work with underfunded public services. The report is based on new research which highlights:
- IMF programmes and policy advice affect public services in all low- and many middle-income countries
- the new debt crisis and its impact on public spending
- progressive tax reforms
- trends in public spending
ActionAid Ireland is also a member organisation of Financial Justice Ireland and works collaboratively on the #CancelTheDebt campaign. This calls for developing countries’ debt to be cancelled to tackle the coronavirus crisis.
ActionAid advocates to #EndFGM in Ireland and abroad.
In Ireland, ActionAid lobbies for a preventative approach with interventions aimed at challenging social norms. To do this, we are calling for a National Action Plan on FGM. This would support the training of all professionals and service providers working with FGM-affected communities, including, for example, midwives and social workers. This approach means we can prevent FGM from happening in the first place.
ActionAid is a member of the National Steering Committee on FGM – a coalition of NGOs and partners committed to ending the practice in Ireland.
In January 2020, we launched a petition calling on the incoming government to commit to ending FGM in Ireland by 2030. This petition received over 9500 signatures and helped foster awareness about the issue. If you haven’t signed it yet, please sign now.