Ch 03: The Care Gap

Do You Really Care?

I immediately resonated with the opening paragraph of Gabriela Saldanha’s, “The Post Pandemic University and the Caring Gap.” As lockdown began, I can recall scrolling through my social media accounts only to continuously view others stating, “this is the time to find yourself,” “you have no excuse to not tackle the new hobby you’ve always wanted,” and “there are so many opportunities to still make money.” Perhaps, there was some truth to these statements for individuals like me, but Saldanha clarifies that others still have priorities, and these statements do not pertain to all. Specifically, the text discusses the caring gap in regards to the workforce. Why is it that society is still discussing the emotional and physical work that individuals complete daily and shaming one for it? This can be due to the clear divide between the responsibilities that others, usually women, may have to uphold outside of their career or simply the responsibilities they must keep without pay. I can guarantee that there are women that would love to partake in weekend conferences or perhaps staying a few hours to complete work for the next week, but not everyone has this opportunity. For the individuals that can spend their days and weekends on the job, do they have children or a sick family member? If so, it is the carers that are looking after their loved ones while they have the freedom to work day in and day out. Perhaps, the carers should put those responsibilities on hold. Obviously, this is not an option tieing into the author’s statement that “the problem is not lack of ability to realise a potential but the compromises such potential calls for.” The tasks that individuals complete that are paid for or not is what others rely on to be able to complete their work. Currently, as we are in a pandemic, and even when we move past it, individuals will have different circumstances that one may not be aware of. Saldanha’s mention of closing the careers pay gap by “requiring people to change their thinking” is spot on although I do believe that this has been stated on countless occasions. If only one could awake and society shares the same prestige for carers. 

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