Petition to ALL governments: A living wage for mothers and other carers

Caring for others is the foundation of every society, yet this work, done mostly by women, is devalued and underfunded.
We demand that:
1. Every worker be paid a living wage, including mothers and other carers.
2. National and international budgets redirect financial support and resources to mothers and other carers.

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We demand a living wage for mothers and other carers because:

· Every worker is entitled to a living wage. Women do 2/3 of the world’s work – in the home, on the land and in the community – but most of this work is unwaged.

· Women are the primary carers everywhere in the world, fighting for the survival and well-being of children and sick, disabled and elderly people, in the home and outside, in peace as in war. Women grow most of the world’s food.

· Most carers, starting with mothers, get no wages and aren’t considered workers.

· Many carers are themselves disabled; many are children caring for younger ones or for their disabled parents; many are grandparents leaving retirement to care for their children’s children.

· Caring is demanding work but the skills it requires are undervalued even in the job market – domestic work, homecare, childcare and even nursing are low paid.

· Valuing caring work would help to close the income gap between women and men. It would also draw more men into caring.

· Financial dependence when caring work is unwaged often traps women in violent relationships.

· Many mothers do several jobs and have to fit time with their children around their job – this is exhausting and stressful for all.

· When mothers are impoverished and overworked, children suffer: hunger, ill-health, violence and exploitation.

· Mothers who have to return to other work soon after childbirth are less likely to breastfeed.

· Workers who take time off to care for children or other loved ones, lose pay, promotion, social security and future pension.

· Devaluing caring work devalues people, relationships and life itself.

· Investing in carers redirects economic and social policies towards survival, health and well-being – for every individual and for the planet which sustains us all.

Issued by: Global Women’s Strike (GWS) ● Women of Colour in GWS gws@globalwomenstrike.net www.globalwomenstrike.net 020 7482 2496
Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, NW5 2DX

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