For centuries, nations, societies and cultures have relied on the unwaged work of people, mainly women, to ensure that the young, the elderly and others unable to fully care for themselves are looked after. Society has relied on unwaged caring work to ensure that successive generations are produced, educated, and socialised. Nations depend on unwaged caring work for the existence, health, and well-being of their waged workforce. Three quarters of the world’s unwaged caring work is done by women undertaking 12.5 billion hours every day and representing a contribution to the global economy of at least $10.8 trillion a year.
Care income describes an end to this system. It describes a wage, paid in cash or access to land, beginning with mothers and other primary carers, and including those who care for and protect the soil, water, air and natural world. The care income values and recognises the life-giving and life-sustaining work of reproducing and caring for the entire human race. It recognises caring as fundamental to all human relationships and the need to invest in those who do care work for the survival of us all. It recognises that there is no human reproduction without the natural world on which we all depend – the care of the land, the air, the oceans and the rivers. It demands a reversal of priorities: from an economy aimed at profit which enriches some to the detriment of all, to an economy aimed at protecting and enriching all life.
The demand for a care income has grown out of the International Wages for Housework Campaign (IWFHC) started in 1972 by Selma James. The IWFHC is an ongoing campaign that begins with those with least power internationally – unwaged workers in the home, mostly mothers, and unwaged subsistence farmers and workers on the land and in the community. The demand for wages for caring work is also a way of organising from the bottom up, of autonomous sectors working together to end the imbalance of power relations among us. The IWFHC succeeded in getting the UN to pass path-breaking commitments that acknowledge the contribution of unwaged caring work that women do in the home, on the land, and in the community. Since 8 March 2000, the IWFHC has become more widely known as the Global Women’s Strike (GWS).
Germany’s government has agreed to introduce a mandatory quota for women in senior management positions in the country’s listed companies.
The deal, which was agreed on by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats and coalition partner the Social Democrats, will mandate that as soon as a listed company has more than three board members, at least one must be a woman.
As part of the deal, 30 per cent of board members in companies where the government holds a majority stake, must be women. A quota for women will also be introduced for “corporations under public law”, such as health insurance companies.
On Friday, leading psychology journal, Psychology Today, published an article by one of its regular contributors, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, Tina Traster. It was called “Trans Kids May Reject Family, Not the Other Way Around”.
Parents responded to the article with gratitude and by sharing their own experiences, stories which reflect just what Traster has written about.
However, the voices of concerned parents were drowned out by a barrage of abuse from trans rights activists in what looked like a co-ordinated campaign to get the article shut down.
Within hours of it being published, Psychology Today editors pulled Traster’s article. “This post is more problematic than needed”, they said.
Instead of caving into them, Psychology Today should be asking themselves just why the TRA attack dogs are so intent on shutting down this article? They should not have pulled it, they should be shouting it from the rooftops.
Some men have for years been trying to deny women the right to their own safe spaces.
First there is MGTOW, for “Men Going Their Own Way” – their own way being, hopefully, nowhere near women, who are all liars and cheats.. . . MGTOW, like most of the other anti-feminist groups out there, possesses “the special quality of being a group supposedly exclusively devoted to men, whose near-total focus is women”.
Also focused on women is the world of “Pick-Up Artists”, most famously documented in Neil Strauss’s The Game. PUAs profit from workshops teaching shy men how to insult women to get their attention and try their luck. . . .
[A]spiring PUAs are very like “incels”: men who think of themselves as “involuntarily celibate” because women won’t sleep with them. Both groups, Bates points out, essentially think of women as slot machines for sex. “The difference is that incels regard the machines as rigged,” she writes, while aspiring PUAs hope “to learn the exact secret combination of buttons to push and levers to pull, in order to trick the machine into paying out every time.”
Saudi Arabia will host the G20 summit starting on Saturday, a date that marks almost a month since Loujain al-Hathloul, a local women’s rights activist who has been in prison for two years, started a hunger strike to protest against being barred from seeing her family.
Hathloul is not the only activist suffering at the hands of the Saudi government. She was one of several women arrested at different points in 2018 for fighting for women’s rights. While some have now been released pending trial, Nouf Abdulaziz, Aida al-Ghamdi, Mayaa al-Zahrani, Samar Badawi and Nassima al-Sadah remain detained in unacceptable conditions.
They have suffered enormous injustice at the hands of the Saudi government, especially since Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, assumed the reins of control. In a cruel twist, shortly after they were arrested, it was announced that one of the things they were fighting for — the right to drive — would be granted.
In a recent report for the human rights institute of the International Bar Association, I urged participant states to demand the immediate release of these women. The country’s leaders should refuse to attend the summit until this is done. A boycott will send the clear message that human rights abuses will no longer be tolerated.
Saudi Arabia should not have been allowed to host the summit after the murder of Khashoggi. We cannot allow the detention and torture of women activists to become another transgression that the world is willing to ignore. There must come a point at which impunity for crimes must end and that point has arrived.
A transgender man has lost his legal battle to be registered as his child’s father or parent in the UK after the supreme court refused to consider his final appeal.
In the appeal court, Lord Burnett came down in favour of the right of a child born to a transgender parent to know the biological reality of its birth, rather than the parent’s right to be recognised on the birth certificate in their legal gender. Burnett said that laws passed by parliament had not “decoupled the concept of mother from gender”.
The supreme court’s decision marks the end of the road for McConnell’s legal case in the UK but he said he would apply to the European court of human rights in Strasbourg to hear the case.
A spokeswoman for the supreme court, the highest in the UK, said on Monday that the justices had decided not to consider the case because “the applications do not raise an arguable point of law which ought to be considered at this time bearing in mind that the cases were the subject of judicial decision and reviewed on appeal”.
Human rights activists in Mexico have expressed indignation after police opened fire on protesters who tried to force their way into Cancún city hall during a demonstration against the country’s femicide crisis.
Four journalists were injured in the incident late on Monday, including two who suffered bullet wounds. Eight protesters were reportedly detained after the shooting.
Mexico: activists voice anger at Amlo’s failure to tackle ‘femicide emergency’
The demonstration was called after the dismembered body of 20-year-old Bianca “Alexis” Lorenzana, was found, days after she disappeared. It was the latest in a string of grisly crimes against women and girls in the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo.
Approximately 10 women are murdered in Mexico each day, prompting protests by an increasingly outspoken feminist movement over successive governments’ apparent inability to stem the violence.
In the fall of 2018, Sweden’s Social Democrat government proposed a new law that would have reduced the minimum age for sex reassignment surgery from 18 to 15, remove any need for parental consent and allow children as young as 12 to change their legal gender.
The government received a major backlash from the scientific community, however. Christopher Gillberg, a professor and psychiatrist at Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy, wrote an article in the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper warning that hormone treatment and surgery on children was “a big experiment” which risked becoming one of the country’s worst medical scandals.
The Swedish government shelved their proposed law and instead, have instituted a 3 part review in response to a proposal from The Swedish National Council on Medical Ethics.
The fast-tracking of medical transition appears to be the protocol in place at many of Canada’s gender clinics, with parents and some detransitioners expressing surprise and shock that medical transition is being offered as the 1st line of treatment. The sharp drop-off in referrals in Sweden corresponded to the realization by parents and General Practitioners that sending children to a gender clinic would not necessarily provide them with additional assessment or services, but rather put them on a fast-track to puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones.
The experience in Sweden, and corresponding similarities in Canada, points to a significant gap in assessment and services for trans-identified youth to ensure that their long term physical and mental well-being is prioritized over and above a quick fix of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. Research indicates youth become trapped in a one-way medical path as almost 98% who are prescribed puberty blockers proceed with medical transition even when there is no evidence of long-term benefits.
Further, suicide risk is often used as the rationale for easy access to medical transition for trans-identified children and adults. Pro-transition advocates consider the need for assessments and screening to be dehumanizing and unnecessary. Clearly, the data from the Swedish NBHW does not support this position. People who commit suicide have an underlying mental illness that requires expert treatment and care. It would be medically negligent to avoid psychiatric assessment and/or deny corresponding psychological services to provide treatment for this population where the risk of suicide is elevated due to these comorbidities.
When will Canada start asking questions like Sweden?
But that same study showed that when partners leave, it’s normally men. One study from 2009 found the strongest predictor for separation or divorce for patients with brain cancer was whether or not the sick person was a woman. That same study showed that men were seven times more likely to leave their partner than the other way around if one of them got brain cancer.
Gendered expectations about household work ought to have changed in the last few decades. Women have almost equal representation in the workplace and in 41% of US homes, women are the breadwinners. More men than ever are stay-at-home fathers. And yet, when a woman falls ill, it can really reveal the extent to which men not only feel entitled to a certain level of housework, but also have no concept of how to be an efficient and appropriate caregiver.