This primer is designed to support policymakers and government officials in their efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality and empowerment of women in their countries. It lays out the basic concepts relating to what is called the “care economy” —the sum total of all paid and unpaid care work. It highlights the implications of a lopsided and gendered division of labour in unpaid care and domestic work. This strengthens the case for governments to invest in the care economy by addressing four care policy categories — care infrastructure, care-related social protection, care services and employment-related care. The primer includes the normative principles and levers of change that will help policymakers and practitioners to create a policy ecosystem that values care work and promotes women’s empowerment.