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

The Care Revolution

I participated in the camp of small revolutions in July to reflect on care. Around the table we sat five women: Laura and Shirley of the Association of Household and Care Employees of Álava; Paula and Ainhoa of the group “Lives of all in the center”; and Kukuso, me.

As often happens, Shirley and Laura forced all the other participants to “step on the ground”, when they showed us a cruel picture of their reality. They made very specific demands: abolition of domestic work as an internal worker; regulation of working conditions; and inclusion in the general social security system, like other workers. In other words, we were told that fundamental rights to leave the farm are indispensable guarantees.

As the capitalist system itself, in our society the development of care is also in crisis, and feminism is making many reflections to get out of the crisis, but it is not easy. The organization of our society has created the paradox that some women do not accept the work of care because it has been imposed by patriarchy, but at the same time there are other women in the next link of the perverse chain, poorer and racist, who are obliged to exercise care in precarious and exploitative conditions.

Perhaps we should change the lifestyle that many of us have so far, immersed in constant consumption, and invest more time and more resources in caring for our neighbors.

In the search for an intermediate solution, the feminist movement proposes that care tasks should be assumed by public services. I see two basic contradictions: the first, although it is transferred to the public sphere, if the economic system is not changed, care will remain in the hands of women; and the second, the responsibility of the community and the existing “social debt” in this matter.

In both contradictions there may be another profound problem: the need to apply controlled growth also in the area of surveillance. In other words, perhaps we have to stop thinking that caring for the elderly, for dependent people and for children is not adapted as a community. Perhaps we should change the lifestyle that many of us have so far, immersed in constant consumption, and invest more time and more resources in caring for our neighbors.

After the election campaign it has become clear that, in my opinion, the political parties do not want to enter into that debate and, therefore, the trade unions and the feminist movement will have to assume it. Example of the next feminist strike.

We have to work alternatives and, in my opinion, it must be made clear that caring for and living in the capitalist system is incompatible. That's why the care revolution is fundamental.

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