A Wales that Cares for People and Planet

An adult's hand holding that of a baby

In collaboration with Oxfam Cymru, the IWA issues a new report that argues Welsh Government must apply a feminist lens to its economic and social policy if Wales is to face the challenges raised by the climate emergency. 

Drawing from a roundtable discussion where we heard of the interconnected challenges of care, social justice and gender inequality, A Wales that Cares for People and Planet makes recommendations to apply an intersectional feminist approach to policymaking and for Welsh Government to set a new economic strategy grounded in new economic metrics. For Wales to become a well-being economy, those principles must feed into every level of governance.

The cover of A Wales that Cares for People and Planet
The cover of A Wales that Cares for People and Planet 

Care underpins all aspects of our society and makes everyday economic activities possible, yet none of the traditional measures of productivity, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), account for its role. This is a glaring omission as climate change and large-scale disasters, such as Covid-19, put increased pressure on individuals to care for each other amidst generalised system collapses.

In Wales, care is underfunded. Much of it is performed for free, and in the majority by women. This new report calls for taking this marginalised sector seriously in order to create a well-being economy that truly cares for people and planet. It also calls for considering new economic models, with approaches like Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics providing a different framework to build Wales’ economy for the 21st century.

The report makes the following recommendations.

  1. The Welsh Government should apply a gendered lens, embedding considerations of gender and care across policymaking and implementation.
  2. Welsh Government should set a new economic strategy, with a clear vision for the economy it wants to see in Wales.
  3. Welsh Government, alongside UK Government, should establish a broader set of economic indicators which match their ambitions for the economy.
  4. Welsh Government should establish a working group to explore alternative economic models and their practical implementation.
  5. Funding arrangements at all levels of government should ensure the delivery, rollout and implementation of policies which promote well-being, underpinned by sustainable finance models and delivered in partnership with the private and third sectors.

Read A Wales that Cares for People and Planet.

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