Crossroads women’s centre in Kentish Town launches wages for mothers petition
- Credit: Archant
A petition has been launched calling on governments around the world to pay mothers and other carers a living wage.
Members of Global Women’s Strike, which has a base
at Crossroads Women’s Centre in Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, have been collecting signatures all week ahead
of an official launch event on Saturday.
The petition, which has been translated into various languages, is being launched simultaneously in several countries around the world to coincide with International Women’s Week.
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The petition states that caring work, which is done mostly by women, is undervalued and underfunded, and calls on world leaders to address the deficit.
Several organisations, which are also based at the centre, including Single Mothers Self-Defence and WinVisible, have backed the petition, and volunteers have been out collecting signatures in Kentish Town Road.
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Crossroads Women’s centre was first founded as the Wages For Housework (WFH) campaign back in 1975, and women have been lobbying for a living wage for carers from various north London bases for the 40 years since.
Selma James, 84, founded WFH in 1972 and co-ordinates the Global Women’s Strike.
She said: “As a society we don’t value caring; unless you have a job outside the home, you’re worthless.
“But you’re contributing to society, raising a kid. We should be getting a very good wage considering the skill and experience and value of caring, but we’re not asking for that, just a living wage.”
Ms James suggested governments could find the money to pay all women – and men – who care for relatives a living wage from other budgets.
She said: “They know all the people evading and avoiding tax, they know the cost of weapons of mass destruction, which we the taxpayers fund. They can take their pick.
“There’s no shortage of money, there’s just a shortage of them caring about us having it.”
Kim Sparrow, 52, from Single Mothers Self-Defence, said that paying carers a living wage could mitigate the impact of government austerity measures that are affecting many single parents.
She added: “It is a lot of work raising children. Caring is really important.
“Raising children in society is a piece of work that is good for the whole of society.”
The Women’s Centre will host an event on Saturday, March 14, between 2pm and 5pm.
It will feature an exhibition, and a community speak-out, where women, men and children are invited to bring along pictures of women they wish to honour. Local businesses have donated raffle prizes, and refreshments will be provided.