Patricia Schulz, a Swiss lawyer and specialist in international human rights and gender equality, offers a short paper advocating for basic income from a feminist and gender equality perspective in the peer-reviewed journal Global Social Policy.

In this article, Schulz argues that strong arguments for basic income “based on social justice, equality, dignity, freedom from want” could be bolstered by more systematic arguments from a gender perspective.

A central point made in this article is that existing social security systems are tied to long-term remunerated work, disproportionately beyond the reach of women:

“as most social security systems are (still) based on contributions linked to remunerated work, independent or salaried, the inferior income of women, their restriction to part-time jobs as well as the interruptions in their careers due to care responsibilities will directly impact the level of social protection they can expect in case of old age, disability, illness and so on, as well as expose them to depend on a partner and/or the (welfare) state.”

Schulz is an expert with the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), a member of the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), and was the director of the Swiss Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) for six years until 2010.

Patricia Schulz, “Universal basic income in a feminist perspective and gender analysis,” Global Social Policy Forum, January 31, 2017.

Reviewed by Cameron McLeod

Photo: Patricia Schulz, member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women addresses during the 5th Edition of Ciné ONU, Palais des Nations. Friday 6 March 2015, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 UN Geneva

About Genevieve Shanahan

Genevieve Shanahan has written 20 articles.

Genevieve is a graduate of University College London, with an MPhil in philosophy. She currently works at the Grenoble Ecole de Management, assisting with research on young people and work in Europe, and otherwise reads and writes about basic income.