Petition to All Governments: A Living Wage for Mothers and Other Carers

Issued by: Global Women’s Strike (GWS)

We demand a living wage for mothers and other carers because:

  • Every worker is entitled to a living wage. Women do 2/3 of the world’s work – in the home, on the land and in the community – but most of this work is unwaged.
  • Women are the primary carers everywhere in the world, fighting for the survival and well-being of children and sick, disabled and elderly people, in the home and outside, in peace as in war. Women grow most of the world’s food.
  • Most carers, starting with mothers, get no wages and aren’t considered workers.
  • Many carers are themselves disabled; many are children caring for younger ones or for their disabled parents; many are grandparents leaving retirement to care for their children’s children.
  • Caring is demanding work but the skills it requires are undervalued even in the job market – domestic work, homecare, childcare and even nursing are low paid.
  • Valuing caring work would help to close the income gap between women and men. It would also draw more men into caring.
  • Financial dependence when caring work is unwaged often traps women in violent relationships.
  • Many mothers do several jobs and have to fit time with their children around their job – this is exhausting and stressful for all.
  • When mothers are impoverished and overworked, children suffer: hunger, ill-health, violence and exploitation.
  • Mothers who have to return to other work soon after childbirth are less likely to breastfeed.
  • Workers who take time off to care for children or other loved ones, lose pay, promotion, social security and future pension.
  • Devaluing caring work devalues people, relationships and life itself.
  • Investing in carers redirects economic and social policies towards survival, health and well-being – for every individual and for the planet which sustains us all.

The Global Women’s Strike is a grassroots network with national co-ordinations in a number of countries.They campaign for the return of military budgets to the community, beginning with women the main carers in every country of people and the planet.

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