Article by Andrea Rodríguez Valdés, RIPESS Europe
Within the YITEG project (Youth Impacting Transformative Economies through Game-design), we claim this November 25th a Feminist Economy that puts life and care at the center of our society.
With the aim of building networks and alliances to further consolidate in our neighborhoods and villages an autonomous, critical and grassroots feminism as a space of struggle, this November 25th, feminists from around the world will once again take to the streets to be visible together against gender violence and fight for gender equality. From different networks of Transformative Economies, we want to claim and share our experiences from diversity, as well as denounce the spaces that still perpetuate the cis-heteropatriarchal and racist system.
What is the Feminist Economy?
The neoliberal society imposed by the West that we inhabit has built a way of organizing politics, economy, culture, education, etc., that develops not only with its back to but also in opposition to the material bases that allow us to sustain life -human and non-human-. Faced with this, Feminist Economics allows us to do an exercise to recognize something that capitalism has always denied us:
1. That we are interdependent as human beings, that we need each other and we need to organize life in common in the face of this system that wants us alone.
2. That we are eco-dependent with nature. The system wants us to understand that nature has no limits, that we can continue exploiting it to obtain consumer goods. But evidently it is not true. The system has also isolated us from Nature, we are completely disconnected from it, we do not understand how it affects for example, the cycles of the moon in our bodies, seasonal changes … and a long etcetera.
3. This Feminist Economy also allows us to make visible what has traditionally been made invisible by the speculative capitalist economy: care and who performs it. That is to say, all the tasks that go beyond the productive sphere, beyond the mere generation of money. As a result of these bases on which capitalism is based, we have a completely invisible and unpaid domestic work. As if it were an iceberg, we only see the productive sphere, where paid work is carried out, the mercantile activities that are part of the public sphere and have traditionally been occupied by men, and the private, reproductive sphere, where we place the sustainability of life, care, community building, etc., which following this sexual division of labor occupied mainly by women, and today, especially by migrant women from the Global South. The Feminist economics proposes not only to reconsider the economic value of the care activities led by women and underprivileged classes but also to change our frame of mind in a moral way. Because Care is currently a subject socially shared between gender, race and class and an essential clog in the functioning of the capitalist system.
Feminist economics first of all proposes its premises by pointing out all these practices, making it clear that the economy goes beyond the market, that work is all the activities that sustain life, that care is at the center, since we cannot live without it, and that gender is an essential category of analysis. Analyzing the current economic system without making this feminist analysis is a huge mistake and does not allow us to build the tools needed to confront the neoliberal capitalist system we inhabit.
To learn more… What tools of Feminist Economics are available to us?
- Online course on Feminist Economics RIPESS Europe: https://edu.ripess.eu/enrol/index.php?id=20&lang=en
- Protocol against aggressions RIPESS Europe: https://ripess.eu/en/launching-the-feminist-protocol-and-a-care-commission-within-ripess-europe/
- Feminist Initiatives: Somriu Cooperative: https://somriupenedes.cat/la-cooperativa/
- Feminist board games: Feministime: https://traficantes.net/libros/feministime
- Podcast France Culture “L’éthique du Care, un projet de société qui résonne avec l’époque” https://www.radiofrance.fr/franceculture/podcasts/la-vie-mode-d-emploi/l-ethique-du-care-un-projet-de-societe-qui-resonne-avec-l-epoque-1547435