Bogotá´s 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 female population of 4 million. Of these women, 30% (1.2 million) are dedicated primarily to unpaid care work and thus lack financial independence and time to participate in political activities, personal well-being or professional development.
These women belong to the most vulnerable sectors of society:
- 90% of them are low-income.
- 70% of these women have not studied beyond high school.
- 33% are deprived of free time for self-care.
- 21% suffer from physical and mental health problems.
If unpaid care work were paid, it would represent 13% of Bogota’s GDP and 20% of Colombia’s GDP.
Since October 2020, the District Care System has provided 26.187 services to women, children, elderly, people with disabilities or family members of caregivers (until 15 of September 2021). The innovation of our system lies in simultaneously providing services both for caregivers and for those in need of care.
- The system is an innovative, context-specific solution for a profound challenge that uses a radical “ease-of-access” modality at a level that has never been tested before.
- The most demanded service are educational services (51% of all services).
The System has 3 new ways of providing services: Care Blocks, Care Buses and a Door-to-door Care Program:
Care Blocks: They introduce a new criterion for the city’s urban planning that places caregivers and care work at the center and, organizes the city to meet people’s needs, instead of the other way around.
- At Care Blocks we provide professional care to those who need it, while simultaneously offering educational and leisure services for their female caregivers whose time is freed up.
- We also offer “Care School for Men” where men learn to cook, do laundry, iron, etc., with the aim of redistributing tasks within the household.
- Care Block locations ensure that services can be accessed within a 15 to 20-minute walk, in an 800-meter (0.5 miles) vicinity.
- Caregivers can access educational or well-being services while State-hired professionals care for the people they care for.
- Currently we have 7 care blocks, our goal is to open 19 blocks by December 2023 (depends on approval of the intersectoral commission of Care System).
- The operation of 1 care block a year costs USD $4,7 million
Care buses: the mobile version of Care Blocks, for those who live far from Care Blocks and in rural or hard to reach areas. One third of the total services offered by the System are have been offered by the buses.
- Care buses guarantee that rural and peasant caregivers have access to care services (for the first time).
- This is especially important because female caregivers in rural areas of Bogotá, devote more time to care work and often lack basic utilities like running water or electricity.
- Care buses are equipped with facilities that provide similar services as Care Blocks, ensuring services for those who provide care and those who require care, simultaneously.
- To date we have 2 Care Buses.
- The operation of 1 care bus a year costs USD $530 thousand.
- 14% of full-time female caregivers cannot access Care Blocks or Care Buses due to the conditions of the people they care for, mainly people with severe disabilities, for whom leaving the house isnot a possibility.
- The Door-to-Door service will deliver services to this special population in their own households, guaranteeing their access to the System.