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Issue 528 of New Internationalist

Reader-owned global journalism

November-December 2020

A caring economy: What would it take?

Care is what keeps us all going. It’s skilled, emotional, exhausting, rewarding work that props up our lives, households, communities and economies. Yet care – work disproportionately carried out by women and then most marginalized, is also massively undervalued and ignored. While growth and profit remain the priority of our economies, care of people and the planet are relegated to the sidelines.

This edition argues that even caregivers – whether they be parents or nurses, cleaners or neighbours – have their limits. With the world in the midst of a deepening crisis of care, accelerated by Covid-19, what would it mean to have an economy that valued them and the people they care for?


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Albertina is 15 and the oldest of three sisters. When her mother died she took over responsibility for raising her younger siblings. Now she wants to become a nurse. CHRIS DE BODE/PANOS

The hidden debt of care

It’s essential work yet it is undervalued across the world. Amy Hall makes the case for putting care front and centre.

Keeping the world cared for

From dealing with Covid-19, to finding inventive ways to make ends meet, three workers from the Philippines, Trinidad and...
Defiantly demanding change in Brooklyn, New York. SAANYA ALI/MAJORITY WORLD

Care not cops

Amy Hall on why defunding police departments could be the most caring thing to do.
Profit over the planet: A care-based economy would do the opposite. ZHANG KAIYV/UNSPLASH

Embedding the economy – with care

Richard Swift examines the deep roots of the market economy’s failures. Time for a radical rethink.

My ass and the oceans

Let down at every turn, Ally Bruener struggles to balance her own vital needs with her eco-warrior credentials.

5 reasons why care and the climate are inseparable

Amy Hall on the underappreciated link between the twin crises of our times.

Passing it on

We meet three women bound together across borders by their caring responsibilities and struggles to meet them.
Health workers in action at the Mpilo Central Hospital Covid19 Testing laboratory. Bulawayo, 25 April 2020. Credit: KB Mpofu / ILO

Doctors priced out

Joylean M Baro on how Zimbabwean doctors on the frontlines of Covid-19 care have been priced out of treatment. 

Let the light in

Carole Concha Bell on how projectionists have been censored for criticizing the Chilean government’s pandemic response.

Introducing...Irfaan ali

Richard Swift on Latin America’s first Muslim head of state.
Photo by Bureau of Land Management New Mexico

Sun sets on Big Oil

Endtimes for Big Oil. Danny Chivers and Jess Worth have some good news from the frontlines.

How foodbanks went global

The rise of food charity in some of the most affluent countries is surely a sign that something has gone badly wrong. So why is...

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