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As the Coalition government forces more and more mothers to return to work while their children are still very young, a growing right wing lobby argues conversely that staying at home to look after the children should be valued and supported.
The feminist movement has long grappled with the problem of how to argue for women’s right to combine motherhood and a career, without devaluing the crucial work of raising children. In the 1970s the Wages for Housework movement argued that the people who perform the reproductive labour of the home (cooking, cleaning and caring for children) should receive a wage.
Other feminists opposed this, arguing that this would simply trap women in their role as housewives. In the context of today’s cuts, how can we as feminists work together to imagine better ways to organise reproductive labour in our society?
How can we challenge the gendered imbalance of this work and improve the conditions under which it’s performed?
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