Harassing mothers to go out to work
The Independent 25 Sept 2008
Deborah Orr rightly points out that the call for payment for caring work is as relevant today as it was in the 1970s ("Why does the Government think we're a nation of bad parents?", 24 September) and yes, the Wages for Housework Campaign is still very much alive and in 2000 launched the Global Women's Strike, whose principle is "Invest in caring, not killing".
Thirty years on it's clear that waged work has not been the path to liberation for most women. Mothers do a double day of low-paid jobs on top of the unpaid caring job in what time and energy remains. We and children need space away from each other, but not by putting their well-being and our relationships with them last. Fathers, working the longest hours in Europe, are hardly able to know, let alone care for, their children. Why don't fathers' rights groups campaign about that?
We don't have children for other people to raise. Yet the Government, advised by investment bankers, advocates more of the same: harassing mothers off benefits and into workplaces with pay inequity, enabled by longer hours of childcare for ever-younger children.
From November mothers whose youngest child reaches 12 years will be forced off income support and on to jobseeker's allowance. Are mothers "workless" when we're penniless? What makes bankers' greedy work more important than bearing and raising the human race? Valuing mothers' work and paying for it values human life over the market. The present crisis tells us what happens when a society values the market over all of us.
Above is the version published on the Independent’s website. They took out reference to GWS website and the sentence:“If you have no money, does your life-saving work as a mother have no value?”
Co-ordinator of Global Women's Strike
Quoted in NY Times Op-Ed: Pay People to Cook at Home!
Speaking at The Life and Legacy of C.L.R. James Conference
In the Guardian: From welfare to wages, women fight back against the uncaring market
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