The District Care System is a set of services, regulations, policies, and technical and institutional actions that seeks to recognize, redistribute and reduce care work, understanding it as a necessary social function for the daily life of people and the functioning of society.
Bogotá has a high demand for care services. 11% of the population depend on care services and a high percentage of these services remain unpaid. The District Care System reflects the city’s commitment with cultural transformation around the subject of care work. It was approved in the Local Development Plan with 25 goals and a budget of more than USD $830 million.
It encompasses 2 definitions of care: indirect care, which refers to domestic work, including food preparation, cleaning and maintenance of the home, cleaning and maintenance of clothing, organization, distribution and supervision of domestic tasks, purchase, payments or procedures related to the home and repairs to the interior of the home, among other functions;
2. direct care, which includes care of individuals in a condition of dependency, including care of children (transfer to school and help with schoolwork), care of the elderly, sick and disabled individuals, and care of domestic animals.
The services offered will be delivered by the State, the private sector and the community sector, under a model of co-responsibility, in order to:
(a) Strengthen and expand the supply of care services for the population with higher levels of functional dependency, including young children, disabled individuals and the elderly.
(b) Develop a strategy that values and gives new meaning to care work, implementing processes of empowerment for carers, providing rest and recreation services and training and accreditation facilities.
(c) Implement a strategy of cultural transformation and pedagogical change in the city in view of the co-responsibility for carrying out care work in homes and communities in order to redistribute unpaid care work.
Under the coordination of the Secretary of Women, the System will set up an intersectoral commission of 10 public entities, involved in the provision of care-related services. In addition, there will be an articulated work with local Mayors, the National Government, the academia, the private sector and the civil society.
Bogotá’s neighborhoods are divided into blocks. The District Care System will implement a territorial strategy with ‘blocks of care’ designed to deliver care services in a way in which people will not need to walk long distances to access them, concentrating existing and new care services in safe, caring environments that increase access to them for those who need them and thus free up the time of those who have historically provided care on an unpaid basis under conditions of inequality. In short, care services will be offered on blocks for those who require care and for those who care and will be georeferenced in the Land Use Plan of Bogotá.
The system will also have Mobile Care Services Units, offering services to those who do not live close to a block of care.
Since the burden of care work has been disproportionally placed more on women, the biggest expected impact of the District Care System of Bogotá is to achieve greater gender equality (SDG 5). This action will be particularly instrumental in addressing target 5.4 of the SDG’s which aims to recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate. By recognizing the value of care work that has been traditionally unpaid and disproportionally placed on women, the District Care System of Bogotá will also seek to reduce the feminization of poverty (SDG 1) and reduce social inequalities (SDG 10).
Furthermore, since this program will be incorporated into the Land Use Plan of Bogotá, and zoning ordinance laws will reflect care as the central element of the city, one expected impact of this measure is to enhance policies and plans towards inclusion for more integrated and sustainable human settlements (SDG 11).
Other expected impacts are changes in cultural norms, and increasing awareness on the co-responsibility of care between men and women. An indicator used to measure the progress on the cultural impact of the District Care System is to decrease the percentage of women who perceive women to be better at domestic work than men from 52.2% to 47.2%. Similarly, another expected impact is to decrease the percentage of men who perceive women to be better at domestic work than men from 53.8% to 48.8%