Selma James is an antisexist, antiracist campaigner and has fought for justice for over 50 years. Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930 she became the wife of the internationally renowned West Indian Historian and political philsopher C.L.R James. In Britain during the 1960s, she became a leading activist in the movements for the rights of immigrants and people of colour.
Selma is the author or several seminal books among them A Women's Place; Sex Race and Class; The Perspective of Winning; Wageless of the world and Women, the Unions and Work. She has lectured and led workshops all over the World and is the founder of the Wages for Housework and Care Income Now campaign.
In 1972 Selma James coined the word ‘unwaged’ to describe the reproductive caring work that women do; it entered the English language. (We later found it had once been used in the 19th century.)
Antiracism, anti-discrimination and the justice work we do for ourselves and with others are at the heart of Selma James campaigning.
Our Time Is Now: Sex, Race, Class, and Caring for People and Planet
Author: Selma James • Foreword by Margaret Prescod • Editor: Nina Lopez
Series: PM Press
Subjects: Feminism / Economics
Selma James - Latest news
Selma James, QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 2014 Considering the enormity of the truths which Chelsea Manning made accessible to us, it was somewhat disappointing how modest were the demonstrations in her support, in Europe as well as in the United States, though millions more were sympathetic who stayed at home. This was the case…Read More
And he wasn’t the only one. Presidents of Tanzania and Haiti have both benefited from making women central to progress Selma James and Nina López Fri 8 Mar 2013 19.15 GMTFirst published on Fri 8 Mar 2013 19.15 GMT The funeral of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela took place on International Women’s Day – a fitting day of departure for “the president of…Read More
Books A life in … A life in writing: Selma James ‘By demanding payment for housework we attack what is terrible about caring in our capitalist society’ Becky Gardiner Fri 8 Jun 2012 22.45 BSTFirst published on Fri 8 Jun 2012 22.45 BST Selma James describes the frustrations of women’s lives. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe for the Guardian The last time…Read More
Julie McIntyre March 19, 2012PDF In their 1972 pamphlet The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, Selma James and Mariarosa Dalla Costa presented an original and influential analysis of “unwaged work.” This concept, which identified the care work that women do in the home as an essential element of the reproduction of capitalism, opened…Read More
By Laura Sullivan, 9 January 20060 Comments3286 ReadsPrin Featured in Mute Vol 1, No. 29 – The Precarious Issue Venezuela’s ‘Bolivarian constitution’ contains a unique article (Article 88) recognising women’s unwaged work as economically productive. Wages For Housework (WFH) has been fighting for this recognition since 1972, and has participated in the annual Global Women’s Strike (GWS) since…Read More
Venezuela’s president has achieved a level of grassroots participation our politicians can only dream of Selma James Fri 13 Aug 2004 09.28 BSTFirst published on Fri 13 Aug 2004 09.28 BST Shares0Increasing numbers of people, especially the young, seem disconnected from an electoral process which, they feel, does not represent them. This is part of a general cynicism about…Read More
Gender Home truths for feminists How should the work women do as mothers be rewarded? Selma James and Melissa Benn argue about carers and careers Selma James and Melissa Benn Sat 21 Feb 2004 10.30 GMTFirst published on Sat 21 Feb 2004 10.30 GMT Hi Selma, You were probably as surprised as I was to see recent reports that Michael…Read More
“Selma James, a socialist and feminist, uses her own experiences working in low-paid jobs and being a mother and housewife as a starting point in this investigation into whether women are exploited in all areas of society. Interviews with full-time housewives, and with females who work outside the home but still do almost all of…Read More