Childcare

Mujeres Libres - Free Women of Spain

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Conditions for the vast majority of people in Spain in the 1920s and 1930s were appalling. For women they were especially bad. There were extreme gender divisions. Most women were economically dependent on men. Household chores and childcare were exclusively women's domain. In both countryside and city women's wages were lower than men's. For example the average daily wage of a male agricultural labourer was 3 pesetas while a women got just half this, for working from dawn to dusk.

Save on Child Care: Smash the Patriarchy!

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Child-care in Ireland is so expensive because it is so undervalued. Only through care-workers’ collective withdrawal of labour will those who rely on us realise how vital our work is.

Across the European Union, childcare costs around 12% of a family’s income, but in Ireland, it accounts for over 35% [1]. Where does that money go? With most childcare employees on minimum wage, it isn’t going to ordinary care workers. At a protest outside Leinster House in February, 2015, the Association of Childhood Professionals estimated that there are around 25,000 people in the early childhood workforce on an average pay rate of less than €11 an hour [2].

Selma James interview on welfare, work in the home, abortion & sex work

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Selma James recently came over to Ireland to do a speaking tour in order to launch her most recent book: Sex, Race and Class--the Perspective of Winning: A Selection of Writings 1952–2011.  We took the opportunity of interviewing her, the interview is below, and recorded the talks she gave on  'Defending Caring and Welfare in Careless Times' meeting for the School for Social Justice in UCD and 'How Can Women Defeat Austerity?' at CERSA, NUI Maynooth. 

Selma James founded the Wages for Housework campaign and was the first spokesperson for the English Prostitutes Collective. She has been has involved with anti-sexist, anti-racist, anti-imperialist campaigns from a very young age. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and as a young women she worked in factories and was a full time housewife and mother. In 1955 she moved to England, where she married writer and historian CLR James. Since 2000 she has been international co-ordinater of the Global Women's Strike.

Campaign for Women's Right to Choose! (1983)

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The Dublin Anarchist Collective actively supports the Women’s Right to Choose Campaign. The right of everybody to self-determination is a basic of Anarchist belief. Women in particular are denied this right. In this society we have little or no control over the issues which affect are daily lives. Transcription of an article from the June/July 1983 issue of 'Resistance' the paper of the Dublin Anarchist Collective.

Equality for some women?

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LAST SEPTEMBER the Bank of Ireland was, according to the 'Irish Times', 'basking in an unadulterated glow of approval' from the Employment Equality Agency, the Council of Status for Women and the Joint Oireachteas Committee on Womens Rights among others. What the Bank of Ireland had so progressively managed to do was to provide one creche which will cater for up to 45 children.

The Bank of Ireland employs 11,600 people. However, at £55 a week the centre is obviously aimed at helping only a very small section of the workforce. As Bertie Ahern said, it did not make sense having highly and expensively qualified women leaving the workforce because of lack of childcare facilities. However, it does make sense, to industry, to employ over 50% of the entire workforce having either low pay or no security of employment (or both).

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