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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 A Feminist Proposal for a Fair Universal Social Dividend
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The proposals below offer some possibilities that challenge the very powerful assumption that our work time is valued only in areas that attract income, and even then, any tasks that are unpaid or related to the domestic are valued less. There are already indications that there will be solid opposition to such changes. First, they offend assumptions, albeit unfounded, that a heavily means tested system is fairer as it only assists those in need and does not require extra taxation. This set of views comes from both progressives and conservatives. Second, the widespread beliefs in the virtues of hard work and the benefits of the status of having a paid job are often taken on by the left and unions, that see the paid "working man" as the source of future revolutions and change. The history of this bias towards paid work is included below to refute these claims. Women need a Universal Social Dividend. This could become a feminised power shift change to welfare payments policies and it should recognise the value of unpaid and underpaid contributions made mainly by women. It would also allow for changing the future income growth policies by reducing the need to retain and grow damaging production, by cutting working hours and jobs in these areas, and replacing income. The USD is designed to redistribute resources so those in unpaid roles have dignity and agency and are not being stigmatised and others can reduce paid working hours. The levels of payment will need discussion, but this paper assumes they would be set at pension levels as a starting point. It should be taxable, but not means tested, so those who are wellpaid are unlikely to keep much.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Hecate vol. 45 no. 1/2 Carole Ferrier (editor), Jena Woodhouse (editor), 2019 21220789 2019 periodical issue

    'The house husbands or SNAGS, a new phenomenon, did not see this as a permanent role and most, sooner or later, tired of a lack of life in the public sphere; despite a brief fashion for the male population's public job being private Home Duties, many men longed to re-enter the usual world; one in which important or sometimes stimulating things went on. The Australian Institute of Family Studies (in the government Department of Social Services) has regularly researched attitudes to gender roles within households in relation to things such as divided domestic work and has found, in its surveys, considerable support for shared housework. Other factors are in play in many countries, especially the incidence of child marriage (650 million girls) and of Female Genital Mutilation (imposed upon 200 million girls), the latter increasingly administered by actual health services rather than the stereotypical old, female relative with a razor blade and a sewing basket. The witches and midwives of centuries ago were one thing (documented, for example, in Barbara Ehrenreich's 1973 Witches, Midwives and Nurses) but more recently, in COVID-19 times, women are much in demand in their jobs/professions as health workers, and have been given enthusiastic encouragement to lead their working life in close contact with often viralent infections, as "essential workers"-a category that seems to have benefits for the bourgeoisie who belong to it, but not many for nurses working long and demanding shifts, wearing often-uncomfortable Personal Protective Equipment, in hospitals and infection-testing clinics.' (Carole Ferrier, Editorial introduction) 

    pg. 247-266, 309
Last amended 5 Mar 2021 08:36:33
247-266, 309 A Feminist Proposal for a Fair Universal Social Dividendsmall AustLit logo Hecate