Women Trapped Between Paid and Unpaid Labour
Women’s Labour Conference, 2011, İstanbul, Turkey
This book is a compilation of the papers presented and the discussions held at the conference –“Women Trapped between Paid and Unpaid Labour”- organised by the Socialist Feminist Collective on November, 2011. Heidi Hartmann, Jean Gardiner and Helena Hirata participated as speakers; Gülnur Acar Savran from the Collective was one of the panellists in the last session.
Why did the Collective feel the need to organise such a conference?
Within the context of the reciprocal relationship between patriarchy and capitalism, women’s labour has certain structural characteristics; first and foremost among these is the fact that women are trapped between paid and unpaid labour. The multi-dimensional domestic labour which women spend at home, points to an appropriation in so far as it is unremunerated labour: Men gain power vis-á-vis women thanks to this labour/time they appropriate, and women lose power. When women go out to the paid labour market, for the majority, it is impossible to find the kind of job that would liberate them from their dependent and powerless status in the domestic sphere. And so long as they continue to take up low-paid insecure jobs, they are forced to spend unremunerated domestic labour. This vicious circle is reproduced as long as the conditions remain the same.
Therefore, with this conference we aim to assess the contemporary conditions of women’s oppression and a proper strategy for a feminist movement. Thus, during the conference, the following topics were discussed: The relationship between capitalism and patriarchy (presented by Hartmann), care labour (presented by Gardiner), flexibility and women’s labour (presented by Hirata) and the future of feminism (a panel discussion).
We hope that we have been able to transmit this enthusiasm to you in this booklet, through the papers and the discussions.
The Socialist Feminist Collective