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.