Selma James is an antisexist, antiracist campaigner. In 1972 she put forward Wages for Housework (WFH) as a demand and a political perspective that redefined the working class. The International WFH Campaign she founded coordinates the Global Women’s Strike. She coined the word “unwaged,” which incorporates all workers without wages. She co-authored the classic The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community and is the author of Sex, Race and Class and other pathbreaking writing.
The Global Women’s Strike and Women of Colour GWS, which have campaigned for financial recognition for unwaged caring work for decades, contributed to the Green New Deal for Europe and jointly called on governments everywhere to provide a Care Income, starting now. As mothers, carers, farmers/farm workers, land and human rights’ defenders, women do most of the work of feeding (starting with breastfeeding) and protecting families and communities, the soil and the environment.
Wages for Housework begins with those of us with least power internationally – unwaged workers in the home (mothers, housewives, domestic workers denied pay), and unwaged workers on the land and in the community.
Wages for Housework is a demand, it is also a perspective, a way of organising from the bottom up, of autonomous sectors working together to end the power relations among us.
We are part of a global collective of a number of autonomous organisations within the Global Women’s Strike. Each has its own constituency and campaigns, each can count on the collective power of all.
Starting in March and for the whole of 2022, the International Wages for Housework Campaign,
which co-ordinates the Global Women’s Strike, will celebrate its golden anniversary. We are holding a series of events and launching our 1972-2022 archives at the Bishopsgate Institute.
Our recent news >>>
“News story of the year” goes to Channel 5’s coverage on disabled mothers: A collaborative project with Support Not Separation and Disabled Mothers Rights Campaign.
Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign and Support Not Separation worked with Channel 5 on its national news programme broadcast at 5pm, 25 January 2023. Ch5 announced their shocking findings that parents with a learning disability are 54 times more likely to have their children taken into care. This confirms our experience of the discrimination and hostility…Read More
Join us for a screening of Walter Rodney: What they don’t Want you to Know (2022), a documentary exploring the life of Guyanese academic and activist Dr Walter Rodney. The event will be accompanied by a panel and Q&A with: Arlen Harris, director Dr. Patricia Rodney, academic and widow of Walter Rodney Selma James, writer and activist…Read More
Dear Friends The Global Women’s Strike will be supporting The Mothers Manifesto protest calling for action on food insecurity outside Parliament on Wednesday 13 September from 11am-4pm. They wrote the following email about the protest. We hope you can join us. We know the situation for many women here in the UK, one of the…Read More
Today, 3 August 2023, on her birthday, we remember Liz Hilton, our much-loved wonderful friend and sister in struggle. She would have been 61 had she not been unexpectedly taken from us earlier this year. Liz was born in Australia and lived in Thailand for decades, where she found a new movement family with Empower,…Read More
The state of Andhra Pradesh in India has seen a transformation to natural farming which has been made possible by women organizing, writes Solveig Francis. They have created thousands of self-help organizations across more than 3,000 villages. Since 2016 they have spearheaded an agricultural, economic and social transformation through Community Managed Natural Farming: agroecology based on no/low tilling,…Read More
A Global Women’s Strike event for South India Heritage Month. Thursday 20 July 2023, 6-8pm, Swiss Cottage Library, 88 Avenue Rd, London NW3 3HA. ALL WELCOME. What we saw when we visited the women’s self-help groups transforming their communities with natural farming. We in the city must know more about how our food is grown…Read More
Women of Colour GWS and Payday Men’s network wrote this tribute for an event organised by some Sans-Papiers collectives from the Paris region, students in struggle in Paris and the Marche des Solidarities, held 27 June 2023 in Paris.(French translation below). We send our deepest condolences to Madjiguène Cissé’s family and friends and all the…Read More
“Take Away our Poverty not Our Children” * Give Us Back Our Children is a US-based national multiracial network of organizations, mothers, grandmothers and supporters demanding an end to forced and unjust separation of children from their mothers and other primary caregivers by the child welfare system. It includes Alexandria House, A New Way of…Read More
Press conference and action outside Philadelphia Family Court: Take away our poverty, not our children – Implement recommendations on child separation
For Children’s Week for the Child Tax Credit, mothers, grandmothers and supporters from Philadelphia will be joined by others from Baltimore, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, England and Scotland who are suffering from the same abusive child welfare system. We are demanding the implementation of the Recommendations of the Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Child Separation, starting with: Poverty is not neglect and must not be used as a reason for child removal; Get resources to mothers/caregivers – support, not separation; Open the family courtRead More