Care and Climate Change; Care Economies in Context

Working Papers

UN Women’s Working Paper on The Climate–Care Nexus and its Impact on Women’s Unpaid Work

In 2023, UN Women produced a paper discussing the urgent need for societal and economic transformation towards interdependence, care, and sustainability. It focuses on addressing women’s and girls’ unpaid care, domestic, and communal work in the face of a changing climate. UN Women is a partner for the Care Economies in Context research project.


The transformation of societies and economies towards paradigms centred on interdependence, care, and sustainability is urgently needed. In this context, this working paper sheds light on emerging efforts to address women’s and girls’ unpaid care, domestic, and communal work in a dramatically changing climate.

The paper discusses the ways in which climate change and environmental degradation disrupt the care economy and increase and intensify women’s and girls’ unpaid care, domestic, and communal work. The paper analyses emerging national efforts to address unpaid care and domestic work through multilateral environmental agreements and valuing paid and unpaid care work in gender-responsive just transitions.

The paper concludes with recommendations for governments, international organizations, UN agencies, academia, and civil society at a key moment for rethinking the dominant development model based on the extraction and exploitation of natural resources, fossil fuels, and human lives, and for making caring for people and the planet a central concern.