Italian Feminists: In Defense of Caregivers

Nancy Folbre
9 April 2020

“The recent ‘Cura Italia’ (Care for Italy) decree, issued by the Italian Government, does not “take care” of domestic workers, home-based caregivers for the elderly and child minders.”

This is the first sentence in a petition being circulated by the feminist magazine Ingenere, published here in English (and I’ve borrowed their beautiful picture of a woman’s folded hands).  They are inviting signatories.

In Italy, many elderly people rely on migrant caregivers, often working “under the table,” for assistance. These caregivers lack formal protections and often, a home of their own. Many of the specific policy issues Ingenere raises are relevant to other countries, including the U.S.

They also point to the larger challenge of developing a “democracy of care”: “The pandemic is forcing us to rediscover (or discover for the first time) the importance of a solid, public and universal health system, since not caring for some individuals may subsequently turn into lack of care for the whole community.”

Italian-speakers may need to correct my interpretation, but since the word “genere” means “gender,” I’d say Ingenere translates as “engendered.” So interesting that the word for care in Italian is “cura.” Yes, a necessary part of the cure.

One comment on "Italian Feminists: In Defense of Caregivers"

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    I suggest that ‘Ingenere’ can be translated into ‘Within gender’.

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