Women undervalued, socially, culturally, economically

Dr. Davena Rankin
Dr. Davena Rankin

#stucwomen18  UNISON’s Dr. Davena Rankin gave a fascinating presentation on the reasons why women’s work is underpaid and undervalued and how women have paid the price of the banking crash.

Davena reminded us that austerity was a political choice not a necessity.

Davena added that austerity impacts on women much more than men because targeting the public sector hits women as workers, as parents and as users of services.

It is a question of values, said Davena.  “Women are consistently undervalued – socially, culturally and economically.”

Economists (mainly male) rely on narrow definitions of economics. It’s all about market value. Things you can measure. Unpaid caring responsibilities are not valued.

Yet unpaid work makes a huge contribution to the UK economy but is largely invisible in terms of GDP.

Feminist economics challenge this. It emphasises the importance of gender roles in the economy and to women’s disadvantage. Ending gender difference is key to improving the economy.

If women stopped doing unpaid work the economy and public services would grind to a halt.

“Women as a collective have huge power,” said Davena. “Feminist economics is not a fantasy. It’s what we deserve.”

More information can be found at https://www.facebook.com/STUCWomen/

And the STUC website http://www.stuc.org.uk/about/equalities/women

STUC Womens Conference Home