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
Wisconsin Public Radio, a local radio in the U.S., featured UBI in its program called ‘The Kathleen Dunn Show’. The main guest was Judith Shulevitz, a journalist who recently wrote a column on feminism and UBI at the New York times. The voices from listeners on the topic were also on air. The 50 minute program can be listened to online here at:
(Last accessed on 25th January)
In this paper, Dr Caitlin McLean demonstrates ‘how a multi-dimensional perspective on gender equality strengthens the feminist case for BI proposals’.
The paper is the first of WiSE working paper series. The WiSE (Women in Scotland’s Economy) research centre was founded in 2010 by Professor Ailsa McKay, who had been vocal for feminist perspective on an unconditional basic income till her death in 2014.
Caitlin McLean, ‘Beyond Care: Expanding the Feminist Debate on Universal Basic Income‘(pdf), WiSE Working Paper Series No.1 September 2015, The Women in Scotland’s Economy (WiSE) Research Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University.
Feminist Philosophy Workshop, which will be held on 9th October, at the University of Hamburg, invites Anca Gheaus to speak on ‘Feminism and Basic Income’.
Gheaus works at the university of Sheffield. Her past publication on feminism and basic income can be accessed here.
This is an academic workshop and registration is required. The contact for registration is Amanda Cawston (email@example.com).
The workshop will take place in the Philosophy Faculty (Room 1072, 10th floor of Von-Melle-Park 6, 20146 Hamburg). The detail can be found here.
Gender Research Centre at University of Bristol organizes a seminar on feminism and Citizen’s Income, with Centre for East Asian Studies (University of Bristol) & FSSL Family and Parenting Research group (University of Bristol).
‘Feminist Way to Citizen’s Income: Claimants Unions and Women’s Liberation Movements in Britain 1968-1987’
Time & Date: Wednesday June 17th @ 16.00
Venue: G2 (1st Floor), 10 Priory Road, University of Bristol
Speaker: Toru Yamamori
Abstract: At the 9th National Women’s Liberation Conference held in London in 1977, a resolution which asked the whole of the British Women’s Liberation movement to endorse a citizen income (an unconditional basic income) was passed with majority vote. However, this fact appears not to have been properly recorded in any academic literature. The resolution was raised by women in the Claimants Unions Movement. The paper is based on oral historical research and looks closely at their activism, especially their intersections with other feminists and their articulation of the citizen’s income demand.
Toru Yamamori is a professor at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, and currently a visiting fellow at the University of Cambridge, where he works on two projects: Gender, Class and Race in discourse on Basic Income in 1970s Britain, and History of Economic Thought on Need. His past publications were in various disciplines and the common question behind them was how feminist and other social movements have challenged the philosophical foundation of economics. He was a founding member of the Japanese Association for Feminist Economics, and is a member of the Basic Income Earth Network.