1. Research

    The Crisis of Low Wages: Who earns less than $17 an hour in the U.S. in 2024?

    According to new data from Oxfam, there are more than 39 million low wage workers in the United States, defined here as any worker earning less than $17 an hour. This translates to 23 percent of the US workforce, or nearly one in four workers in the US. This new research includes a full demographic picture of low wage workers including race, gender, intersecting race & gender, age, parental status, and tipped wage worker status. Our findings demonstrate that women and communities of color, especially Black and Latin or Hispanic workers, are most impacted by low wages and stagnating minimum wage policies. To explore the data, please check out the interactive map.

    Oxfam 2024 Crisis of Low Wages report-thumbnail
  2. Research

    Care as Essential Infrastructure: Definitions of and debates on care infrastructure from Kenya, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, the United States, and Zimbabwe

    Drawing on six case studies (Kenya, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, the United States, and Zimbabwe), this paper explores the definitions, debates, and demands related to the concept of care infrastructure.

    The paper finds the following components of care infrastructure across the case studies: care-supporting physical infrastructure, knowledge production, community networks, national care frameworks and public financing, social protection, and public care services, programs, and regulations. These components of care infrastructure can look different from country to country, based on country-specific factors, including time use related to care, national laws and legal frameworks, and civil society and community mobilization. The existence of different approaches to care infrastructure, even between different stakeholders within countries, highlights the need to consider the local context of any intervention related to care.

    The paper also examines the responsibilities of different social actors (communities, civil society, the state, and the private sector) to support care infrastructure, with a focus on the role of the state. Across regions there are significant ongoing debates about the responsibilities of the state supporting and investing in care infrastructure and in advancing care as a right or care as a public good.

    Care as essential infra - cover
  3. Research

    Unseen Work, Unmet Needs: Exploring the intersections of gender, race and ethnicity in unpaid care labor and paid labor in the U.S.

    Oxfam America and Prosperity Now have embarked on a comprehensive joint research project to explore the dynamics of women’s paid and unpaid labor in the US, particularly for women of color, who are disproportionately affected by the dual impact of paid work and unpaid care responsibilities. This report adopts an intersectional lens to delve into the disparities in unpaid care and the inequities in the paid labor force. The relationship between paid and unpaid labor reveals significant challenges, with many facing systemic barriers in accessing essential support such as workplace flexibility, equitable pay, and affordable care services. Particularly, the interplay of gender and race/ethnicity in this context spotlights the unique and disproportionate challenges women of color encounter in both paid and unpaid labor.

    The research focuses on both paid and unpaid labor, shedding light on the often invisible or underappreciated roles women play in the economy. Paid labor is commonly understood and recognized, but unpaid labor, including care work for children and adults, remains largely unseen and unvalued, despite its critical role in the economic and social fabric of our society. This study is rooted in the principles of intersectional feminism and labor economics, recognizing that gender, race, ethnicity, and class are not isolated factors but intersect and interact, influencing the experiences of women in the US labor market.

    The study seeks to bring visibility to this work and underscore its significance in economic policy. The urgency of the project is highlighted by the recent social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly affected unpaid care work, altering its distribution among men and women as well as across racial and ethnic groups. The paper also brings in the voices of the people who are holding crucial caregiving roles in their communities so readers can hear from individuals directly. The research team collected testimonials from nurse practitioners, nonprofit workers, public school workers, and psychologists, some of whom have had to leave their jobs to keep up with care responsibilities to highlight the lived experience that exists within the data.

    Oxfam and PN
  4. Research

    Increasing Civil Society Ownership of National Climate Plans: Lessons drawn from Senegal's NDC experience

    The issue of civil society participation in the processes of developing, implementing, and monitoring national climate plans is crucial to ensuring that these ambitions are both acceptable to the populations and, beyond that, that they align with a trajectory of sustainable development beneficial to all actors in Senegalese society.

    This case study aims to analyze the degree of involvement through consultations with a variety of civil society actors, as well as members of the administration and international partners active in the fight against climate change. While some believe that civil society participation has progressed

    significantly in recent years, the vast majority feel that the level reached is still insufficient.

    Barriers to civil society’s appropriation of climate issues include, among others, the lack of representativeness of grassroots organizations and vulnerable groups, as well as the unfamiliarity of civil society organizations (CSOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) with the processes, objectives, and stakeholders of the National Climate Plan (NCP), meaning that many civil society actors are rarely aware of their contribution to its implementation even though they are involved.

    The study also shows how limited human and financial resources reduce the possibility of broad participation by civil society organizations, especially outside the capital. This raises the question of a fair, adequate, and targeted allocation of climate financing to meet the ambitions of climate policies in Senegal. This report presents recommendations to overcome barriers that may explain low ownership of national climate plans by communities, in order to propose ways for populations to be key actors in an ambitious ecological transition in Senegal.

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  5. Research

    The perception of climate change in Senegal coastal areas

    The cognitive dimension of climate change is a subject that is rarely analysed. However, communities’ endogenous adaptation strategies are heavily dependent on their perception of the risks linked to climate change. An analysis of individuals’ representations and perceptions of climate change makes it possible to improve the ability to adapt of territories confronted by it.

    In this analysis, the relations of interdependence between perception, knowledge and adaptation strategies show how communities living in the coastal area of Senegal interpret climate change, in particular in the fields of agriculture, water resources and coastal areas.

    Considering these representations favours the co-construction and acceptability of the adaptation strategies. It enables state and non state actors to better understand the communities’ needs as regards public climate policies, whereas the media can identify levers they can use to devise effective public information campaigns on the climate, in order to reduce the vulnerability of communities that face climate hazards.

  6. Research

    At Work and Under Watch

    Surveillance and suffering at Amazon and Walmart warehouses

    Oxfam_At Work and Under Watch-thumbnail-556x720
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