A pioneering approach to women’s empowerment
Through the first global programme of its kind, Surf and Oxfam will undertake several initiatives to recognise, reduce and redistribute the amount of time spent by women and girls on household chores and caring for others, known as ‘unpaid care work’. Crucially, the collaboration will challenge social norms by encouraging the equitable distribution of unpaid work.
In some parts of the world women and girls currently spend as many as six hours a day on unpaid care work – a vital contribution that disproportionately affects women and girls and often goes unrecognised. This can limit their ability to take opportunities to earn a living, participate in public life and pursue an education.
Unlocking opportunities for women
The partnership includes providing funding to improve access to water in communities in the Philippines and Zimbabwe to help reduce the time it takes to do household chores. This will positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, a large proportion of whom will be women and girls. It also aims to reach 19 million people globally by supporting activities to increase awareness of the impact unpaid care work has on women and girls’ lives.
Alex Lankester, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Oxfam, adds: “We know that protecting women’s human rights is a vital step in ending poverty. Unpaid care work limits women’s ability to choose how they spend their time, and by tackling social norms we can make real progress. Oxfam’s expertise in providing water and women’s rights means we are in a strong position to pioneer a new and effective approach. We have already seen strong results from our pilot projects and working with Unilever will help us achieve far greater scale and impact.”