A few things to know about the global fight for women’s rights

There was broad consensus at the forum that the backlash against women’s rights is fiercer than ever right now. Sarah Martin, a gender-based violence specialist with nearly 20 years experience in the field as a humanitarian, said it is no longer sufficient to simply fight for new ground.

Women’s movements are the only way women have ever won rights.

The vote. The right to choose. The right to work. To open bank accounts. To marry who we choose. To be free from harassment. These rights have only ever been achieved by movements led by women to make it so.



Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts: Transgender activists try to curb free speech on site

Transgender activists are targeting companies which advertise on Mumsnet, because the online forum allows people to debate transgenderism.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said she had been approached by three significant advertisers who had been contacted by pro-trans groups threatening boycotts.

Roberts said: “What’s worrying to me is the thought-police action around speech and the shutting down of the right to be able to disagree and immediately labelling it as transphobic”.

She added that there is “a section of the hardline trans side which thinks that any discussion at all is by definition transphobic”.

Mumsnet, Britain’s most popular parenting website with twelve million monthly users, does not take a position on the debate, but its founder is determined to protect free speech.

The activists, she said, demonise anyone critical of the self-identification plans by portraying them as evil bigots who want to eradicate transsexuals and incite violence against them.

She concluded that proper debate is essential, as “what is proposed is nothing less than changing the very definition of man and woman in law – biology replaced with identity”.


Where to from #MeToo? Breaking the silence about ‘gender-hostile’ workplaces

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, sex discrimination expert Dr Karen O’Connell said that conversations about the experience of women in the workplace often omitted the little and sometimes quiet acts of denigration which served to undermine their professional status.

Dr O’Connell suggested these discriminatory acts could be anything from silent, negative attitudes about motherhood to expectations about how women should dress at work.

“‘Second-generation discrimination’ is the idea that there are certain kinds of discrimination that are just a bit less visible than the most obvious ones. They are the sort of systematic, pervasive, cumulative acts, which can be really difficult to isolate out as an individual act of one individual on another,” she explained.

While buoyed by the momentum that the #MeToo movement has taken on in Australia, Dr O’Connell said that she was concerned a focus on specific, sexualised incidents of workplace harassment would leave big gaps in the conversation about broader problems working women faced.


EL SALVADOR – 20-year-old faces prison after giving birth to her stepfather’s baby in a latrine

A year ago today, Imelda gave birth in the latrine at her family’s small, one-room home with curtains for dividers in a small community. She said she did not know she was about to give birth; instead, she told her lawyer, she “felt something come loose”. She screamed for help, fainted and started to haemorrhage.

Her mother took her to the local public hospital, where they saw that she had given birth. She was pregnant, she told health professionals, because her stepfather had raped her repeatedly from the age of 12. This was documented by the hospital, but not acted upon. Instead, they notified police. At her home, the baby was rescued from the latrine without any injuries.

Imelda was charged with attempted aggravated homicide, although no evidence was presented that she had taken any action to endanger or attempt to murder the baby. She has been in detention for the past year, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for 30 April.


Plan International Australia launches bold new campaign to stop women feeling unsafe after dark

In fact, the vast majority of young women aged 18-25 surveyed in research conducted by Plan International Australia, (90%) said they felt unsafe on the streets of Sydney at night, while a further 92% expressed feeling uncomfortable taking public transport alone after dark. Of those, one in three (35%) said they always felt unsafe on public transport at night.

And this campaign isn’t just a local venture. Indeed, Sydney is just one of five cities worldwide where the Free to Be map launches today, including: Delhi, Kampala, Lima, and Madrid. According to Plan International Australia, the campaign is “believed to be the most ambitious crowdsourced data collection project to combat street harassment ever undertaken.”

She hopes the data accrued from this initiative will help to propel government authorities to take the issue more seriously and enact change.

“This data will be provided to city planners, public transport authorities, police and groups responsible for urban safety, so they can make positive changes to make cities safer places for women.”


Gender Equality Charter launched

Developed by the peak lawyer body’s Women’s Advisory Panel, the charter features nine tasks that signatories must commit to completing in the next two years. The charter tackles why women in the country’s legal profession are so far behind men in the senior ranks. It aims to improve retention and advancement of women lawyers.

Signatories of the charter must appoint a senior-level individual, who will be responsible for meeting commitments made under the charter. These organisations must also:

  • implement unconscious-bias training for all lawyers and key staff and take action to address identified bias;
  • conduct annual gender pay audits and take action to close any gender pay gap;
  • encourage and support flexible working to assist all lawyers to balance professional and personal responsibilities;
  • regularly review areas of their practice with a gender equality and inclusion lens (e.g. recruitment, retention and promotion practices);
  • adopt equitable briefing and instruction practices;
  • actively work to increase gender equality and inclusion in senior legal roles;
  • collect and share with the New Zealand Law Society examples of practical approaches to gender equality and inclusion that make a real difference; and
  • report on progress against charter commitments every two years to the New Zealand Law Society.


Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

This tragedy of black infant mortality is intimately intertwined with another tragedy: a crisis of death and near death in black mothers themselves. The United States is one of only 13 countries in the world where the rate of maternal mortality — the death of a woman related to pregnancy or childbirth up to a year after the end of pregnancy — is now worse than it was 25 years ago.

Black women are three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts, according to the C.D.C. — a disproportionate rate that is higher than that of Mexico, where nearly half the population lives in poverty — and as with infants, the high numbers for black women drive the national numbers.

Last year, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a statement noting that “evidence suggests that, in addition to regular nursing care, continuous one-to-one emotional support provided by support personnel, such as a doula, is associated with improved outcomes for women in labor.”

Monica Simpson is the executive director of SisterSong, the country’s largest organization dedicated to reproductive justice for women of color, and a member of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, an advocacy group. In 2014, she testified in Geneva before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, saying that the United States, by failing to address the crisis in black maternal mortality, was violating an international human rights treaty.


The Fight for Fair Housing’s Forgotten #MeToo Chapter

In 1982, Tammy Shellhammer, a young white woman, walked into the Toledo Fair Housing office because she felt she was the victim of discrimination by her landlord, Norman Lewallen. In their interactions, Lewallen was sexually aggressive with her and had begun to demand that she pose for nude photos, perform oral sex, or have intercourse with him. When she repeatedly refused, Lewallen evicted Tammy and her husband.

After talking with Mrs. Shellhammer, the all-female staff of the center and I knew we had to take this on.” Shanna remembered as we spoke about the case. “I went to the most progressive attorney we knew, C. Thomas McCarter. I told him, ‘This ought to be against the law.’”

“It ought to be, but it isn’t.” he told Smith, “There is no case law to support sexual harassment as the basis for a Fair Housing claim. And most of the women who rent from this guy are black and on welfare. No one is going to believe them. But listen, I am willing to try if you are.”

On December 11, 1983, the New York Times reported “A young couple [should
add that Shellhamer and her husband were both plaintiffs] …have been ruled victims of sexual harassment and are eligible for damages under Title VIII of the Fair Housing Act. The ruling is believed to be the first of its kind under fair housing laws.”

More than 35 years ago, it’s important to remember this other group of courageous silence breakers who revealed how predatory landlords made girls and women subject to sexual assault and violation in their own homes. In fair housing, #MeToo.


‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’? It’s Shelved

For generations of girls, “Our Bodies, Ourselves” was the starter pack to adulthood: It let you know whether your vulva was weird looking (it wasn’t), what kind of birth control you might want to use and whether you were the only one who had a special relationship with your pillow. (You weren’t, Page 162 assured.)

But after nearly 50 years, Our Bodies Ourselves, the Boston nonprofit home of the book, will stop publishing the pubescent tome amid a period of “transition.” The book, last updated in 2011, will no longer have new editions. The nonprofit organization housing their programmatic work — they reported $279,460 in revenue for its 2016 fiscal year — will now be led by volunteers.

That the foundational feminist text will cease to publish at this particular time seems strange. Trump’s inauguration was dwarfed by millions of women wearing “pussy hats”; abusive men across every industry are being outed by #MeToo; women in film, television and music are embracing the feminist label with gusto.

But feminist nonprofits, especially those founded during the movement’s second wave heyday, aren’t thriving in a way that reflects the moment. Stalwarts like the National Organization for Women and Ms. magazine still exist. But their profiles dwindle in the shadow of newer endeavors like Times Up, or Teen Vogue’s recent political makeover.

“Our Bodies, Ourselves” has “always been a labor of love,” Ms. Childers said, but perhaps that’s part of the problem. Even as women’s work and activism has completely changed lives and shifted the direction of the country, we still have largely been expected to do it for little to no money, with women’s nonprofits relying on pure passion and urgent need.

As feminism becomes more and more culturally powerful, guiding voices with experience will be more important ever. The more mainstreamed feminism becomes, the easier it is to water down the values of the movement.


Radical feminist warned to refer to transgender defendant as a ‘she’ during assault case

A radical feminist has been warned by a judge to refer to the transgender defendant as a “she” during an assault case.

Maria Maclachlan, 61, was giving evidence against Tara Wolf, 26, whom she claims tried to attack her at a rally, knocking her to the floor.

The row was the latest in an ongoing battle between Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists (TERFs), who believe that transwomen should not be given the same rights as those born female, and transgender activists.

The two factions have repeatedly clashed over the issue of men who “self-identify” as female and are allowed in women-only spaces and take on roles reserved for women.

The group of radical feminists, including Ms Maclachlan, had gathered at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park last September to discuss changes to the Gender Identity Act which will make it easier for people to define their gender themselves.

Wolf admitted posting on Facebook ahead of the event: “I wanna f*** up some terfs. They’re no better than fash (fascists).”


UN Women creates new role to address sexual harassment and discrimination

UN Women has stepped up its efforts to help end women’s experiences of sexual harassment, by appointing Purna Sen to the newly created role of Executive Coordinator and Spokesperson on Addressing Sexual Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination.

In response to women’s experiences of sexual harassment, Sen will focus on ensuring actions are being taken in both government administrations and the private sector. This will be achieved in two parts; firstly, by asking women to share their experiences of sexual harassment and assault and secondly, ensuring practices, policies, and laws are enforced to deal with these harassments.


Boston Marathon will allow transgender runners to race according to gender identity

Boston Marathon officials say they’ll allow transgender women to race as women in the annual 26.2-mile race, one of the nation’s premier running events.

According to The Boston Herald, at least five openly transgender women have signed up for the race on Monday, April 16. While they are not the first transgender women to do so, they have sparked a controversy among some experts as to whether their biological makeup gives them an unfair competitive advantage.

Bob Girandola, an associate professor in the Department of Human Biology at the University of Southern California, says transgender women may have an “unfair advantage” due to higher testosterone levels.

“If they still have male gonads, they will have an advantage over other women — there is no way around that,” he says.


Bold interventions can change the game for women, just look at the Stella Prize

Six years ago a small group of women made a bold move: creating the Stella Prize for women’s writing, in order to help combat the gender bias occurring in the literary world. The effects have been fast and far-reaching.

In establishing the Stella Prize – which reclaimed Stella ‘Miles’ Franklin’s first name – the founders aimed to celebrate Australian women’s contribution to literature and shine a light on all the talented female authors who were being overlooked.

Six years on, what has amazed us is how fast and far-reaching the effects have been.

Not only have women – obviously – won the Stella Prize for the past five years, they are now winning more prizes generally. The Miles Franklin Literary Award (established by a bequest in Stella Franklin’s will) had been won only 14 times by a woman in 55 years when Stella was founded. In the past 5 years, 4 of 5 winners have been women and 17 of the 25 shortlistees, with the first-ever all-female shortlist in 2013. Moreover this trend is evident across all major prizes. And women writers are being added to school curricula: the VCE English curriculum now has gender parity in terms of authors listed as opposed to 68.5 per cent of the books being by men back in 2014.

In any case, it’s all too long to wait. I encourage leaders in other areas – especially cultural ones – to consider bold interventions, as we did. The best time for action is always now.


Can a model’s monobrow help women embrace body hair?

When the model Sophia Hadjipanteli accidentally tinted her blond eyebrows black, she decided to show off her non-normative body hair, rather than reach for the wax strips. It has worked wonders for her career.

[S]he is an example of how female body hair in the mainstream is still confined to gimmick and novelty, only acceptable if your appearance conforms to beauty standards in every other respect.

Truly hairy women do not have the option of making peace with a peach-fuzz of leg hair; they would be laughed at if they did not rise to the gruelling, expensive task of hair removal.

I now realise that the white girl vanguard is not helping hairier women to feel normal and desirable in their natural state. All body hair is equal, but some body hair is more equal than other body hair. Excuse me if I don’t rejoice in Hadjipanteli’s popularity; it is just that natural hairiness will not be reclaimed until it is reclaimed for all women.


‘It is clear I have much to learn’: Tony Robbins slams #MeToo movement, gets slammed on social media, then apologises

If you’ve been thinking about attending an event with Tony Robbins, you may want to watch the following video from a session he gave last month in California.

In it, the life coach makes his views on the #MeToo movement known, and questions the motives behind women who speak up.

“I’m not mocking the MeToo movement. I’m mocking victimhood,” Robins said.

“What you’re seeing is people making themselves significant by making somebody else wrong,” he continued. “And there’s nothing wrong with that, it just won’t make you happy. It won’t make them better. It won’t make you better.

During the rant, Robbins also shared that he had recently spoken to a powerful man who said he couldn’t hire an “attractive woman” because he knew it would be too risky.


Meet George McEncroe: The founder of Australia’s only female ride-share business

It was the disturbing stories her teenage daughter reported about catching transport at night that triggered a light bulb moment for comedian and former radio presenter, George McEncroe: “Why is there no option for women to travel together?”

Not long passed, before the concept of Shebah sprang to life—a ride sharing business operated by women for women, solely. George assembled a small team and set the wheels in motion; crowd-sourcing for the business and launching on International Women’s Day 2016.

Her drive was fuelled by a simple but powerful purpose: Women had the right to enjoy nights out without fearing their journey home afterwards.

It was the same case for women drivers. After extensive research, George noted that “only four percent of cab drivers were female” in Australia whilst women comprised only 10 percent of Uber drivers. Given that the flexibility of ride-sharing income must appeal to women juggling competing priorities, it didn’t take long to deduce that “no one wanted to drive because of blokes in the backseat,” says George.

“I think every woman in the world gets told from the time she is born to not get in the car with a strange man and then every woman finds that at some point she has no option.”

Shebah’s turned that on its head.


Is pregnancy holding women back from partnership?

A senior lawyer in a national Australian law firm (hereafter Woman 1), speaking on the condition of anonymity, said she was advised by a partner at her firm not to fall pregnant until she was a partner, at which point she would be better placed to take leave.

“I think it was actually said as a genuine piece of advice, and he would have thought he was helping me.”

An associate at another national firm (Woman 2), also speaking anonymously, said that upon announcing her pregnancy and impending maternity leave, opportunities that had been promised were suddenly no longer available to her.

Woman 2 then learned that her employment status changed from full-time to part-time, with her pay scale changing to a pro rata basis, which led to a refusal of standard pay increases.

“Sadly, pregnancy and family responsibilities discrimination remains prevalent in Australia,” said Kingsford Legal Centre director, associate professor Anna Cody said.

“One in two mothers [experiences] discrimination at work during pregnancy, parental leave or [when returning] to work.”


Molly Ringwald says The Breakfast Club is troubling in #MeToo era

Molly Ringwald, who starred in The Breakfast Club, has admitted she now finds the cult 1980s film “troubling”.

“At one point in the film, the bad-boy character, John Bender, ducks under the table where my character, Claire, is sitting, to hide from a teacher,” she wrote. “While there, he takes the opportunity to peek under Claire’s skirt and, though the audience doesn’t see, it is implied that he touches her inappropriately.”

“What’s more, as I can see now, Bender sexually harasses Claire throughout the film. When he’s not sexualising her, he takes out his rage on her with vicious contempt, calling her ‘pathetic’, mocking her as ‘Queenie’. It’s rejection that inspires his vitriol.”

Ringwald noted that, despite all of this, the film sees him “get the girl in the end”.

“If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes.”


Idaho candidate on abortion: Urges charges, death penalty

On Thursday, the recently hired columnist Kevin Williamson was fired from the Atlantic after an uproar over his views on abortion – namely his belief, first mentioned in a 2014 tweet, that women who have the procedure should be executed by hanging.

The truth, of course, is that Williamson never should have been hired in the first place; the Atlantic and Goldberg knew about Williamson’s belief about executing women who had abortions and brought him on anyway. They knew they would be forcing the women at the magazine – some of whom we can assume have had abortions – to sit in an office with a man who wanted them dead.

A Republican lieutenant governor candidate on Tuesday softened his stance that women who get an abortion should be punished if it is ever criminalized in Idaho, a day after saying the punishment should include the death penalty.

Last year, Abolish Abortion Idaho launched a ballot initiative seeking to charge both abortion providers and women with first-degree murder – but it is unclear if the group will have enough signatures to make it on the ballot in November.

Meanwhile, Republican state Sen. Dan Foreman attempted to introduce legislation that would also classify abortion as first-degree murder for mothers and doctors, but the proposal never received a hearing.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/politics-government/election/article207845019.html?

Let’s not revise history: Gillard could not have raised her gender earlier

Since that time, change has occurred such that there is now a greater awareness and more widespread acceptance that being a female leader is a unique and colossal challenge.

This change in atmosphere is why the London-based Global Institute for Women’s Leadership has been launched and it is why Gillard accepted the role as its inaugural chair.

Back in 2010 when Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister this was not the case. To the contrary, the hostility she faced when she even dared mention gender was white hot. It was an illegitimate “card” she played whenever the going got tough.

It is true that in the eight years since Australia got its first female PM the public discourse has moved. Gender equality is no longer automatically dismissed as an entirely niche subject: it has inched its way towards the mainstream as a live issue.

#MeToo and #TimesUp have accelerated this in recent months but conversation is not the same as action. Inequality persists – in pay, power and privilege. Women in Australia are still being discriminated against, harassed, underpaid and underrepresented in leadership positions.


The data says it all: There’s a significant ‘motherhood penalty’ in Australia & getting worse

The so called “motherhood penalty” is more deeply entrenched than I thought in Australia, and it’s getting worse.

According to the Diversity Council, which regularly produces a report looking at the drivers of the gender pay gap, the influence of years not working, i.e. career interruptions, usually related to the birth of children, has more than doubled since the Diversity Council first researched the drivers of the gender pay gap ten years ago.

What’s more, Australia has some of the highest part-time work rates for women in the world, according to the OECD. Only Switzerland and the Netherlands outrank us. And to round things out, 1 in 2 women report experiencing discrimination while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work, and they are spending up to twice as much time on unpaid domestic housework as men.

I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know when I point out that over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to the ultimate “motherhood penalty”, with women retiring with on average half the superannuation as men. Older single women are the fastest growing group of people falling into homelessness.


POLAND – In response to all-male discussions of women’s issues on TV, a group of women made a mock programme on men’s sexuality – Safe Abortion : Women’s Right

POLAND – In response to all-male discussions of women’s issues on TV, a group of women made a mock programme on men’s sexuality.

They chose the sexual health of men as their subject and asked the question: Should Viagra be a prescription drug? They discussed male problems with erection and the selling of Viagra without a prescription while contraception requires one. During the debate, one said: “I think men must be protected from Viagra because it is an extremely strong drug with numerous side effects. “An erection is a gift from God” another argued, while a third claimed: “Use of Viagra interferes with the plans of God.”


Welfare crackdown on relationships a ‘double standard’ not applied to MPs

The new policy requires those on the single-parent payment and a similar Newstart payment to find a “referee” to sign a legally binding form verifying that the welfare recipient is single.

The new policy requires those on the single-parent payment and a similar Newstart payment to find a “referee” to sign a legally binding form verifying that the welfare recipient is single.

Terese Edwards, the council’s chief executive, told Turnbull the requirements effectively allowed Centrelink to “police women’s relationship status”. They were demeaning to women and belonged in the 1970s, she said. Edwards said the previous arrangements were less onerous and intrusive, but still achieved third-party verification.

“We remain concerned for women who have left a violent partner and or women who require greater privacy as well as woman who do not have a ‘trusted third party’, noting that the third party cannot be a family member,” she said.


Paedophiles to be punished with strengthened sentencing and new laws in changes slated for NSW

Repeat child sex abusers will face a possible life in jail as NSW overhauls paedophile punishment legislation, but the Premier sidestepped introducingstate laws to break the seal of confession.

One of the major recommendations made by the royal commission was that the sanctity of the religious confessional should be pushed aside, requiring religious ministers to report any child sexual abuse revealed to them.

Divisions have emerged, even among Australian Catholic Church leadership, about whether there should be legal intervention in the religious practice.

NSW did not announce any new legislation to obliterate the practice which allowed some church clergy to avoid prosecution for child sexual offences.

Instead, the Premier said the seal of the confessional should be addressed at a national level via the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process.

Changes to the laws would now no longer require victims of child sexual abuse to prove assaults took place at specific times and places — a requirement that had prevented some offenders from being prosecuted.

NSW has joined Victoria as the only states to have opted into the national redress scheme.


Why Family Violence Leave Should Be Paid

[F]inancial hardship can bind women to abusive relationships. As such, the economic backing that ongoing employment supplies can be a critical factor in supporting women to leave abusive relationships. Continued employment can also serve to psychologically bolster victims.

Providing paid family violence leave means we’re not asking victims to choose between foregoing necessary support for the sake of financial security.

By failing to provide family violence leave we risk re-entrenching existing forms of disadvantage and failing to address a potential contributing factor to the persistent gender pay gap in this country.


Trans equality will come, but it won’t be an easy journey

In response to an inquiry from a Mumsnet user, Serco declared: “Guests travel with the Caledonian Sleeper in shared accommodation for men-only or women-only; the service is provided on the basis of the gender that the individual self-identifies with.” To this, the Mumsnet user responded: “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with this at all and it’s yet another example of women’s spaces being erased.” Soames then entered the fray in person by tweeting: “I think you are referring to the possibility that people may say that they are a woman when in fact they are a man – sigh.” His passengers, he said, were not “deceitful”.


How Feminists in China Are Using Emoji to Avoid Censorship | WIRED

Shortly after the close of this year’s International Women’s Day, China’s Twitter-like service Sina Weibo shut down Feminist Voices. With 180,000 followers, the group’s social media account was one of the most important advocacy channels for spreading information about women’s issues in China, but in an instant, it was gone. A few hours later, the private messaging app WeChat also shuttered an account for the group. The official reasons for the closures were vague, simply that the accounts had posted content that violated regulations, but the subtext was clear: the country’s highly-monitored media was trying to silence women’s advocates.

Days after it went dark, images appeared online of a group of masked women holding a symbolic funeral for the death of Feminist Voices. Yet the group’s founder Lu Pin (now based in the US) wrote on Twitter that she viewed the ritual not as a funeral, but as a “fantastic carnival,” signifying a rebirth, and she pledged to “reclaim the account by every legal avenue.”

“Keeping the movement going will be challenging, but these feminists are tenacious and extremely determined. The Chinese government can’t wipe out the women’s movement in this era of global connectivity.”


Code Girls: The Untold Story of the Women Cryptographers Who Fought WWII at the Intersection of Language and Mathematics

While Alan Turing was decrypting Nazi communication across the Atlantic, some eleven thousand women were breaking enemy code in America.

Their story, as heroic as that of the women who dressed and fought as men in the Civil War, as fascinating and untold as those of the “Harvard Computers” who revolutionized astronomy in the nineteenth century and the black women mathematicians who powered space exploration in the twentieth, is what Liza Mundy tells in Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II (public library).


“The struggle keeps you going”: Selma James,founder of International Wages for Housework Campaign, tal ks Trump, pay equity and more

When the Wages for Housework (WFH) campaign exploded onto the international feminist stage, it sparked the first debate on unwaged caring labour that women are forced into due to the social roles they are expected to perform. It demanded money from the State as compensation for the labour that was not merely a “role” that women were performing, but formed the backbone of the economy due to the physical and emotional investment made by women into housework.

“All I knew was that the basic weakness of women was that we did work that was unwaged and that payment for that work was absolutely central to our autonomy- to our right to have children and our right not to have children, to pay equity”, says Selma.

It was the 1972 seminal publication, The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-written with the feminist Mariarosa Dalla Costa, that first theorised housework and caring work as unwaged labour that women are forced to do; the very labour whose output supports the working class and through it, the market economy. Soon after, Selma James launched into praxis.

In fact, in May of 2015, the tongue-in-cheek Twitter hashtag #GiveYourMoneyToWomen went viral. Initiated by Lauren Chief Elk, it highlighted how women’s time and attention is often taken for granted, and suggested that if it were in such high demand, perhaps it deserved to be paid for.