Automatically translated from Basque, translation may contain errors. More information here. Elhuyarren itzultzaile automatikoaren logoa

Discussing the problem of custody

28 November 2023 - 12:16

The central point of the proposed liberation of working women has historically been the issue of care as one of the main themes that characterize our oppression. On the one hand, the poor conditions that workers in the surveillance sector have as a result of the lack of social recognition of their own work, on the other, the poor quality of care services and, finally, the workload that care generates in women as a result of the sexual division of work.

On the contrary, there have been several proposals that have been made to address the issue, and the debate has again influenced the General Feminist Strike convened for the A30. With this call, the Feminist Movement has proposed the objective of reorganizing the entire scope of surveillance, placing the solution in the interpellation and pressure of public institutions, since it is the responsibility of institutions to recognize and guarantee the universal right to care.

The point of view of Itaia has been different. In our view, the problem of surveillance tasks is due to capitalist economic interests. On the one hand, the objective of the State is to protect the economic benefits of entrepreneurs, and surveillance work should therefore generate the lowest possible cost. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure family care and to cut public investment aimed at the sector. On the other hand, entrepreneurs are strengthening the care market sector to obtain economic benefits at the expense of care, through the privatization of the service and the deterioration of the conditions and quality of the services of workers.

Employers are strengthening the care market sector to obtain economic benefits at the expense of care, through the privatization of the service and the deterioration of the conditions and quality of the services of workers

Placing institutions as an instrument of social transformation and believing in progressive state management is a chimera. Capitalism and the state are in crisis and in recent years it has become clear that the only thing that institutions can offer is bread crumbs. When we talk about the public, therefore, we are talking about the management of the state or the administration, and that does not guarantee at all the liberation of all. It can serve to maintain privileges for specific sectors, but it alienates women in more vulnerable situations.

The only possibility to defend and guarantee the interests of workers in the institutions is to create an independent political force outside the institutions. This can ensure that the institutions of the proletariat prevail over bourgeois institutions. On the contrary, the proposal to reach a position of strength within the institutions does not have the possibility of overcoming the framework of capital that crushes us.

Specifically, in order to deal with the conditions of misery and sexual division of the work of the sector and of the care service, we should take into account two basic aspects: the first, the socialization of care tasks, that is, that care goes from the responsibility of women to the responsibility of the whole society. Care tasks cannot remain in the private sphere of the family, the social organization must take care of this service. The second is equal pay for all. That is, a classless society. In this way, the recognition of the contribution that we can all make to social wealth and the equal opportunities that derive from it should be the basis of the new society to be built.

Strike is a political instrument for contributing to this process which serves to defend and fight workers’ rights. On the same day it must serve to point out to the companies and institutions responsible for our oppression and to develop awareness of the situation. The mobilisations of the A30 Pact are aimed at strengthening the choice of building socialism.

Nadia Pérez e Irene Ruiz, members of the Itaia network

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