2023 GS3 Answer

Q. Distinguish between ‘care economy and ‘monetized economy’. How can care economy be brought into monetized economy through women empowerment?

Question from UPSC Mains 2023 GS3 Paper

Model Answer: 

Economies are multifaceted entities that encompass various sectors and activities.

Two significant aspects of any economy are the ‘care economy’ and the ‘monetized economy’. Both play crucial roles in societal functioning and development, yet they are distinct in their nature and operations.

Care Economy

The care economy refers to the sector of the economy primarily concerned with the provision of care services. It includes activities like child care, elder care, care for the sick and disabled, and domestic work. This sector is often unpaid or underpaid and is predominantly shouldered by women. For example, in India, women spend approximately 297 minutes per day on unpaid care work, while men spend only 31 minutes, according to a report by the International Labour Organization.

Monetized Economy

On the other hand, the monetized economy comprises activities that are paid and formally recognized in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It includes sectors like manufacturing, services, agriculture, etc. In this economy, transactions are usually made through money, and the value of goods and services is determined by the market. For instance, a worker in a factory or a software engineer is part of the monetized economy as they receive a salary for their work.

Integrating Care Economy into Monetized Economy through Women Empowerment

1. Recognizing Care Work: The first step towards integrating the care economy into the monetized economy is by recognizing and valuing unpaid care work. This includes acknowledging the time, effort, and skills required for care work.

2. Implementing Policies: Governments should implement policies that provide compensation for care work. For example, introducing paid parental leave, care allowances, or social security benefits for caregivers.

3. Promoting Gender Equality: Encouraging men to share care responsibilities can help reduce the gender gap in unpaid work. This can be achieved through awareness campaigns and gender-sensitive education.

4. Providing Training: Providing training and skill development programs for women can enable them to join the monetized economy. For example, the Indian government’s Skill India initiative aims to train over 400 million people in different skills by 2022.

5. Creating Job Opportunities: Creating more job opportunities in the care sector, such as professional caregivers, nurses, etc., can help monetize care work.

6. Encouraging Entrepreneurship: Encouraging women to start their own businesses can help bring their work into the monetized economy. Government schemes like the Mahila E-Haat in India provide a platform for women entrepreneurs to sell their products online.

7. Providing Financial Support: Providing financial support to women, such as loans or grants, can help them start their own businesses or pursue education and training.

8. Implementing Legal Protections: Implementing laws that protect the rights of caregivers and domestic workers can help ensure they receive fair wages and working conditions.


In conclusion, while care economy and monetized economy are distinct, they are interdependent and equally vital for a well-functioning society. Integrating care work into the monetized economy through women empowerment can lead to several benefits, including economic growth, gender equality, and improved societal well-being. However, this requires concerted efforts from governments, societies, and individuals alike.

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