Wages for Housework

The campaign for Wages for Housework

In March 1972, at the Women’s Liberation conference in Manchester, England, Selma James put forward Wages for Housework (WFH) for the first time. It was one of six demands in the pamphlet Women, the Unions and Work…or What Is Not to Be Done, written for the conference. It is now 50 years that WFH has been campaigning for financial recognition for the biological and societal work of reproducing the whole human race – whatever else women do. This caring work goes on almost unnoticed everywhere, in every country and culture. It is rarely prioritised economically, politically or socially, and women are discriminated against and impoverished for doing it.

The WFH Campaign has been shaped by the autonomous organisations that formed within it – women of colour, queer women, sex workers, women with disabilities, single mothers, and a men’s network which shares its perspective on caring and autonomy. It confronts poverty, sexism, racism, deportation, criminalisation, rape, militarism, the theft and destruction of land and the natural world, and other forms of violence and discrimination against any gender. It defends the relationships we choose, and especially the bond between mother and child.

In 2000, the WFH Campaign launched the Global Women’s Strike (GWS). Since 2021 its Care Income Now campaign brings together the care and protection of people and the planet. Its international network over the years has included Canada, France, Germany, Guyana, India, Ireland, Italy, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda as well as UK and US, and contacts in many other countries.

In 2022, The Bishopsgate Institute launched our archives to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WFH Campaign and covers the years 1972 – 2022.

Contact details

Email: gws@globalwomenstrike.net

Address: Crossroads Women‘s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, London NW5 2DX.

Phone: +44 20 7482 2496


Latest News on Wages for Housework Campaign

Wages for Housework Special Bulletin, Spring 1978

By Global Women's Strike | 26th April 1978

Black Women for Wages for Housework Bulletin, Autumn 1977

By Global Women's Strike | 26th October 1977

Wages for Housework Campaign Bulletin, Spring 1977

By Global Women's Strike | 26th April 1977

Power of Women, Magazine of the International Wages for Housework Campaign

By Global Women's Strike | 2nd March 1976

Journal of the Power of Women Collective, January 1975

By Global Women's Strike | 26th January 1975

Journal of the Power of Women Collective, July/August 1974

By Global Women's Strike | 26th July 1974

Power of Women Collective Journal, March/ April 1974

By Global Women's Strike | 2nd March 1974

Video: People for Tomorrow Selma James Our Time is Coming

By Global Women's Strike | 18th May 1971

“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…