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Debates on the centrality of work

"Basic Income, Gender Justice and the Costs of Gender-Symmetrical Lifestyles"

by Gheaus, Anca (2008)

Abstract

I argue that, in the currently gender-unjust societies a basic income would not advance feminist goals. To assess the impact of a social policy on gender justice I propose the following criterion: a society is gender-just when the costs of engaging in a lifestyle characterized by gender-symmetry (in both the domestic and public spheres) are, for both men and women, smaller or equal to the costs of engaging in a gender-asymmetrical lifestyle. For a significant number of women, a basic income would increase the costs of leading gender-symmetrical lifestyles because it would make it easier for both women and men to pursue gender-unjust preferences. I argue that preference satisfaction is distinct from justice. I conclude by showing why a basic income would lead to further privatisation of caregiving, and I outline the negative effects this would have on women.

Keywords

Basic Income, Care, Gender Justice, Privatisation, Symmetrical Lifestyle, Gender Work, Domestic Labour, Care Work

Themes

Universal Basic Income, Feminist Arguments on Work Centrality, Care Work

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