Gender, care and welfare: can caretakers allowances or basic income promote gender equality?
Göker, Zeynep Gülrü (2018) Gender, care and welfare: can caretakers allowances or basic income promote gender equality? Kadın/Woman 2000: Journal of Women's Studies, 19 (1). pp. 115-130. ISSN 1302-9916
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Official URL: http://kwj2000journal.emu.edu.tr/
Gendered division of labour prescribing women’s domestic and care work and men’s labour market participation continues to be the cause of serious injustices affecting women and one of the determinants of women’s social and economic inequality in the world. Certain social welfare policies such as caretakers’ allowances can be interpreted as initiatives that aim to compensate the undervalued and non-income generating care work predominantly done by women. The article assesses such policies in the framework of feminist debates on gender, care and welfare and argues that as long as such policies assume that caring is women’s natural job, they will fall short of serving gender equality. Re-visiting the feminist discussions on Basic Income, the regular payment of a monthly income to all citizens/residents of the state on an unconditional and universal basis, the article will discuss Basic Income as an alternative policy proposal that is more favourable in terms of its potential for advancing gender equality by providing women with economic security, engendering the re-valuation of care and challenging the gendered division of labour. Although Basic Income is not a panacea to the multiple problems women are faced with, the very discussion of this proposal from a gender perspective is valuable for emphasizing the role of care in human relationships and men’s responsibility in equal role sharing.
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