News; News & Events

INTERNATIONAL: Basic Income Women’s Action Group Forms

A Basic Income action group, organized by and for women, is currently coming together. Below is the organizers invitation to join the group–reprinted in full:

To:  Basic Income Supporters
From: Ann Withorn (Massachusetts) and Liane Gale (Minnesota)
Re: Basic Income Women Action Group (BIWAG)

It’s time for women in the Basic Income world to get organized, to make sure our presence is strong within the emerging Basic Income Movement, and to liven up and expand women’s participation, dialogue and actions.  We are contacting you because we think you are, or would be, interested in building a stronger base among women within the wider BIG community.

Laine Gale

Liane Gale

As a response to the February 2015 NABIG Congress in New York City, we released the attached statement to announce the formation of this group. Since then, while also building local Basic Income chapters, we have been spreading the word about BIWAG to Basic Income activists, primarily women. We have also established a FB group – Basic Income Women Action Group.  The FB group has not been very active so far, but we hope to use it more extensively in the future.  We’ve attached the original BIWAG statement.

We are establishing a Planning Group that will help BIWAG be more focused and expand  our reach.  Are you interested in joining a conference call to discuss the future of BIWAG?
We will hold two conference calls to accommodate different time zones and schedules; Ann and Liane will co-moderate both.
Monday, August 31: 8 pm – 9:30 pm ET
Wednesday, September  2 :10 am – 11:30 am ET

These calls will be open-ended conversations that will allow us to

1) Introduce ourselves to each other, share what we have all been doing already that feels part of this work, and discuss progress and challenges.
2) Share our thoughts about the original BIWAG statement.
3) Generate ideas for becoming more active in pursuing our stated goals, and discuss expanding (or limiting) our scope in the future.
4) Identify a list of specific Next Steps such as:

o   Creating a timeline of activities to be accomplished by December;
o   Increasing the involvement of women in all ongoing Basic Income efforts, with special attention to bringing more women, and more women related content, to the May 2016 NABIG meeting in Winnipeg (Call for Participation attached)
o   Producing an up-to-date contact list of women in the Basic Income community
Please reply by Aug 28 to let us know whether you will join one of the calls, so that we can provide you with call-in info. If you cannot participate in a conference call, but are interested in being actively involved, please reply to that effect, and we will make sure that you will have another opportunity for input.
Please share this invitation with anyone whom you think would be interested in joining this effort. Also, we aren’t excluding men from the call, so if someone knows an interested BI man who would like to support this effort, please tell us, and we’ll send an explanatory invite.

Reply to either of us by e-mail,
Ann Withorn (, Liane Gale ( or feel free to call Ann at 617-515-8177




About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 960 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.


  • I wonder

    “To: Basic Income Supporters”; “organized by and for women”.

    Soo… which is it?

    Is it not time for the men who support basic income to get organized? Would a group that “organized by and for men” exist?

    I don’t understand.

    Or do men come along to not support the basic income goal, but a goal of getting women to support basic income? Wouldn’t that be sort of off-goal?

    • You don’t seem to realize that we are in the context in which women are an oppressed group. We don’t need specific groups for men, because men dominate most of the groups and most of the power structure around the world. We do need groups for women to bring out their voice where they are often silenced.

    • I wonder

      While women might be oppressed in certain aspects of the society, I fail to see how it relates to basic income.
      For me, it just seems as though this is needless feminism with no goal. How does it help anyone to rally specifically women for this cause, as if you are honestly trying to rally people for this cause, you can’t separate them by sex.

      I support women being equal of course, but modern feminism sometimes is not about driving equality.
      Helping women where they are oppressed has in my opinion nothing to do with basic income.

      I don’t want to offend, but in my opinion this need to “bring out women’s voices” in subjects which don’t have anything to do with sex is frankly sexist. towards men.

      If the group is indeed “by and for women”, are men allowed to join? If not, doesn’t that hurt the goal of driving basic income by excluding half the population? If they are, then why advertise the group as “for women”?

    • If you actually want equality of women, you need to listen to them more. Listen to people in all oppressed groups. Listen how dominant groups dominate almost all organizations. Stop telling them what their problems are and what they need to do, and listen to them tell you how oppression works and how it needs to be opposed.

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