Project on Global Working Families

The Project on Global Working Families (PGWF) is the first global program devoted to understanding and improving the relationship between working conditions and family health and well being.

Dr. Jody Heymann founded the PGWF at Harvard before launching the IHSP in 2005. Heymann and a team that has involved more than 50 researchers have spent more than a decade providing governments, policy analysts, NGOs and the general public with a uniquely comprehensive narrative of the changing face of work around the world, particularly among the poor.

The past two centuries have witnessed significant urbanization, declines in agricultural labour, rapid rises in manufacturing, trade, and service work, and the worldwide entry of the majority of men and then women into the industrial and postindustrial labour forces. These changes, together with rapid globalization, present both unprecedented opportunities and risks for working families.

While the majority of people worldwide now have greater economic opportunities, these opportunities differ by gender and class.

Among the findings in Forgotten Families, Jody Heymann's 2006 book which grew out of the PGWF:

• 36% of families interviewed in-depth had left a young child home alone

• 39% had left a sick child home alone or sent a sick child to school or day care

• 27% had left a child in the care of another child

• 67% of parents with income under $10 a day had to choose between either losing pay to care for sick children or having to leave sick children home alone

While the experiences differ between and within regions, surprising commonalities have arisen among the billion adults who now work at a distance from the children for whom they care.

The Project on Global Working Families and the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy are committed to making their research as widely available and easily accessible as possible. To that end, the following summaries are available for download:

Project on Global Working Families [.pdf]

Situation of preschool children around the world [.pdf]

Summary of findings [.pdf]

Findings presented at United States Congressional staff briefing - March 2, 2006 [.pdf]

Findings presented at event sponsored by the Center for Law and Social Policy - April 18, 2006 [.pdf]

See also: Forgotten Families

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