UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Domestic workers distributing food baskets in Recife – Brazil, 2020. Credits: FENATRAD


Gender, work and livelihoods

Through exploring key activities that reproduce and sustain human life, we examine why certain forms of work are devalued and what consequences this brings to the lives of women.


What is work and who counts as a worker are key questions that structure not only the labour market but also gender relations within the private sphere. Feminist scholars have been analysing the connexion between productive and reproductive labour, paid and unpaid work, for decades, and have shown that the hierarchies and inequalities that underly these activities are deeply gendered and raced. Indeed, jobs that relate to the reproduction of human life, such as care and domestic work, are still perceived as ‘feminine’ tasks, and as a consequence, remain largely underpaid, undervalued and under-protected compared to other sectors of activities. The pandemic crisis has also made more visible than ever before the burden of unpaid care work (cooking, cleaning, homeschooling and taking care of sick or elderly people) that falls onto women in their homes and families. Thus, we examine the dynamics that create such inequalities, gender roles and expectations in the labour market and at home, and how those dimensions impact the lives of women in situations of crisis or disaster.

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A-id Podcast : “Recognition of domestic workers with and without Covid-19”

In episode #4 of the A-id podcast, Dr. Louisa Acciari discusses the recognition of domestic workers with and without COVID-19 in Brazil.

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Contribution to the civil society report on UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

The Spotlight Report, a document written by the Civil Society Working Group for the 2030 Agenda, analyses the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in Brazil and shows what the country needs to do in order to maintain the commitment assumed with the UN to reach the global goals by 2030.

As part of the The Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) RECOVERY, RENEWAL AND RESILIENCE CALL, the Centre for Gender and Disaster is involved in a consortium of universities to implement a new project from 2022 until 2025. The project seeks to uncover and understand the matrix of care provision that is fragmented and uncoordinated, and the resultant overlapping, inconsistent and at times competing polices and regulations shaping care work and its provision at different levels of governance. Rebuilding a robust and more resilient care organization requires a comprehensive understanding of the care economy and entails learning from innovative initiatives in different countries.

The lead Principal Investigator is the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning and University of São Paulo , Brazil. Co-investigators include colleagues from the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada, Paris 8 University, France, Wayne State University, USA and the University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. 


Other activities

  • Louisa Acciari was a co-organiser of the first Congress on Domestic Work in Latin America, with the Network RITHALRITHAL was founded in 2017 to create spaces for dialogue and exchange between those who study domestic work in different countries of Latin America. The Network includes 125 members.

  • Launch of the training material on collective bargaining for domestic workers, ILO-Brazil and National Federation of Domestic Workers, on 16th June 2021. Event recording (in Portuguese)

  • Round table: How to decommodify care work?, on 26th Nov. 2021. Event recording (in Spanish)