There is no value in giving birth to children or bringing them up(979 Posts)
Looking at my 17 yr old ds today I totally agree
We pay childminders/nursery staff/primary school teachers pretty badly too, and I think this is both the result of this prejudice and one of the ways it gets reinforced - we don't value the work people do to bring up children when it's outsourced from the home, so why value it's done for free?
Ah, it's an illustration of the fact that what's priceless and what's worthless is entirely debatable.
lor, madam, i'm glad i didn't see that one.
<but small lol at noddy>
It's funny because much of our economy is dependent on future generations to fund it. Pension deficit anyone?
LRD that's a good point. Traditionally female jobs in education/caring professions are very poorly paid by comparison to masculine roles requiring similar skills. I find the whole idea of equating pay with value an interesting one. I'm doing a piece of research at the moment about a job that is v poorly paid but has extremely bright, able women doing it. Their concept of value is much greater pay. But then I'm doing HR consultancy work for free
It does have an economic value, the value of caring for your child is the rate at which you would have to pay someone else to look after your child eg nanny/childminder
But likale, that's such a small amount - isn't that pretty bad? There's that phrase that women, especially high-earning women, are 'punished' for having kids and it does seem exactly the right word.
Aside from that, I've noticed a fair few threads recently where someone posts saying she's having this or that issue with her husband and happens to mention she's a SAHM - and there are replies saying 'oh, he probably thinks you should go back to work/ maybe he feels put-upon because you haven't gone back to work', with the strong implication that a woman who stays at home with the children is doing so at her partner's sufferance.
it's all about the profit. i dont think capitalism gives a shit whether men or women are being subjugated or de-valued as long as it makes profit.
Being a sahp is valuable... To the individual family. It is also valuable to society , bit not economically valuable. It is a life
style choice and IMHO not a feminist issue in itself but an agreement between the parents in how their family will function.
It's not work in the sense of employment, nor should it be (how would that actually work realistically in society?)
Childcare is badly paid because there is a plentiful supply of people who are capable of doing it and willing to do so for not much money. It's about market forces. Which may well stem back to it being "women's work" originally, but if lots of men decided to become nursery assistants the pay would not go up.
On the census they should have specified that they meant work as "working in exchange for money", it's true, instead of work as in"doing something difficult/time-consuming/valuable".
While taking care of children is most definitely work it is not the same as working in exchange for pay.
Maybe all childcare should be paid for by the government - if you choose to stay at home the money goes to you, if you choose to do something else and have someone else care for your child the money goes to them.
Taxes would have to go up a lot though!
Yes, that "economically inactive" designation struck me, too. It appears to be about people doing unpaid work both within or without the home.
I haven't checked this, but iiuc the Big Society is supposed to run on the Third Sector - voluntary organisations with unpaid workers. And iiuc, the unpaid workers will be designated not economically active. Because these positions can't be "jobs" because they're unpaid.
(Refreshed and saw your post, Trillian - fits exactly with my understanding.)
So if the local library is handed over to the Big Society, it will cease to be part of the economy.
I hate it when I see forms etc which say 'not working' they should say 'not employed'.
I think communist countries had free childcare and i think that did result in some change in the gender dynamic of employment.
The UK government provided childcare during WW2. So they can do it. They just dont want to.
A lot of what used to be provided by the state in the immediate post war period is now done for free by women eg care for disabled children, care for recuperating adults, housework when she has a newborn, the list goes on...
It makes me think that policy wise what we should be campaigning for is getting more men into female spheres eg clerical, caring, catering, cleaning instead of pushing women into engineering/science.
If 90% of nursery workers were men they'd be paid 2-3x what they are now IMO.
There is some fairly serious academic and practical debate beginning among national statistical authorities about counting the work of people at home in national GDP. That would include a lot of work currently carried out by women.
In practice, as likale points out there is a 'shadow price' for all work carried out at home and this is provided by the market price of the salary of a nanny, cleaner, painter/dcorator, housekeeper, nurse, gardener, taxi driver, secretary, etc. It would therefore be relatively simple to include the shadow value of 'home' work in GDP.
There is though a much more important GDP problem caused by the fact that most households face a huge hurdle caused by the tax system that prevents relatively well trained high skill women exchanging the value of the work they could do outside the home with another lower skill person who could do the work they currently do at home. As we all well know, it is often not worth someone going out to work and paying 30% tax and then paying someone to look after their home or do childcare and also pay tax on those wages as well. In fact, it is extremely inefficient for the economy to have high skilled women (eg graduates that the state has paid to train) trapped at home by the tax system and doing low skill work that another less well trained and perhaps currently unemployed person could do.
As a matter of fact, some countries recognise this later problem and do allow the cost of a housekeeper/childcarer to be offset against income tax.
Recognising that someone going out to work needs to employ someone to do work at home they otherwise would have done is a big step in recognising that women contribute a lot to GDP that goes unrecognised. If the UK allowed income tax offset against the cost of childcare and housekeeping then a lot of women would be able to join the workforce outside the home and their work would of course be recognised in GDP - as would of course the work of the person they had employed to work in their home.
Wonders will never cease - completely agree with you dittany.
I think it is really sad that being SAH nowadays isn't valued - economically or otherwise. I have always argued in these debates that if you don't do it yourself you have to pay someone to do it so therefore it is actually valuable.
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