A Basic Income Women Action Group Statement
April 28, 2015
A Basic Income Women Action Group
Statement Prepared by
Liane Gale, Ann Withorn and Kristine Osbakken
Inspired by conversations and presentations at the 2015 North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress in NYC
- The broad goal of the group is to connect women within the Basic Income movement, and also to connect with women of other economic/social/environmental justice activist groups, where people are mindful of the dignity of all people and the planet. We are committed to exposing the problems within current economic, political and social systems, to questioning these systems from a women’s point of view and to arguing for Basic Income as a vital avenue towards systemic change. Group members are also committed to contributing to a healthy community, connecting and interacting with each other based on solidarity and compassion.
- Support for a Women Action Group within the Basic Income movement draws from both historical and contemporary sources. Martin Luther King wrote in 1967: “I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most revolutionary. The solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed annual income”. The history of the U.S. Welfare Rights movement also reminds us that poor women and their allies recognized a “Guaranteed Adequate Income” as their welfare plan, particularly to eliminate sexism from welfare, with National Welfare Rights Organization leader Johnnie Tillmon affirming in 1972 “the right to a living wage for women’s work, [is] the right to life itself”. And today, activist men from across the world have joined the call. Here is globalist Nafeez Ahmed: “If we want to save the planet, patriarchy must die. That means recognizing and taking responsibility for the fact that patriarchy is integral to the structures of power we take for granted, across East and West. There’s no time to waste. If misogyny wins, the planet dies.”
- Action Items. We propose several general avenues for how a Women Action Group can come together as part of the full Basic Income movement. We seek further discussions and refinement regarding these proposals from all sections of the movement.
The Basic Income Women Action Group will:
- Connect with women already active in the Basic Income movement, both nationally and internationally, for the sake of building stronger networks and solidarity;
- Promote the staging of forums in venues that will examine Basic Income through a gender lens — and introduce this perspective within all public discussions of Basic Income;
- Serve as a nexus for informing people about the existing literature and activist resources on Basic Income and women;
- Support the writing of open letters asking international, national, state and local organizations and movements to discuss and endorse Basic Income, especially in regard to its immense potential to positively affect all women and their families;
- Support initiatives that promote gender parity within Basic Income organizations such as NABIG and BIEN, especially in regard to events that are the “public face” of our movement.
- Support pro-Basic Income policy campaigns. When possible, we would also like to offer coordinated support for women candidates and those leaders, who are working toward a Basic Income at any political level.
We seek suggestions and reactions from all, but also specifically encourage comments and ideas from those who are already connected with the Basic Income movement.
Feel free to join or to contact any of us in the Basic Income Women Action Group:
Liane Gale, firstname.lastname@example.org (Roseville, MN));
Ann Withorn, email@example.com (Boston, MA);
Kristine Osbakken, firstname.lastname@example.org (Duluth, MN).