Table 1 Definition of categories for the analysis of gender mainstreaming in support plans for informal carers
Symbolic contents of the plan
Theoretical framework
Gender perspective at a formal levelGoverning principles that stress the need to incorporate a gender focus into the development of policies, action lines and measures drawn up to support informal carers
Existing knowledgeConsultation of recently published scientific studies that show evidence of feminisation of informal care and its impact on women’s health
Consultation with expertsThe plan has been written with the collaboration of experts in gender issues and informal care
Consultation with carersInformal carers have participated in designing the plan
ExpertiseThe expertise of carers is respected with regard to caring for the dependent person
Sexual division of workCarers’ work is made visible; sexual, patriarchal separation of care tasks is denounced
Carers’ contributionThe social and historical contribution of women carers is made visible in terms of: (1) the cost of care in market terms; (2) time saved by relatives who do not provide care; (3) cost of women carers’ lost opportunities; (4) social benefit reaped
Women’s right not to provide careAcknowledgement that: (1) informal care is not a natural skill; (2) the government must support dependent individuals; (3) women (or other family members) are not obliged to care for their relatives but they do have the duty to love them
Situation analysis
Data differentiated and analysed by sexAnalysis of the diversity and differential characteristics of the carer population, according to social class and other variables
Women carers’ needsConsideration is taken for women carers’ specific needs as women: reproduction, lower salaries, gender bias in social health care, double shifts (at home and at work); caring for the rest of the family who are not dependent
Operational content of the plan
Gender focused objectivesObjectives established that are based on the actual difference between women and men carers, which seek to meet their specific needs, extend cover of services for this population group and improve their health and quality of life
Positive actions that equalise, promote and transformMediation with regard to gender stereotypes and sexist social practices that reproduce unequal and discriminatory situations that have to be confronted by informal women carers
Strategic interestsDevelopment of long term interventions to bring about gender sensitive structural changes and lead to real equal opportunities in the field of informal care
Daily interestsDevelopment of gender focused functional changes that are plausible on a short term, in order to improve the daily lives of informal women carers
Individual, non-subrogated rightsSupport measures for informal care that are independent for the carer, and unrelated to the family and to dependent individuals
Gender budgetIncorporation of the gender perspective into financing of measures
TransparencyJustification of interventions by means of data broken down by sex
Differential impactSeparate evaluation of the plan’s impact for women and for men carers
Equivalent benefitsInterventions on the different starting points of women and men carers in order to correct unequal situations