The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 15: Paid and unpaid labour: feminist economic activism in a diverse economy

Megan Clement-Couzner


This chapter looks at feminist activism about paid and unpaid labour, using Australia as a case study. It examines the history and contemporary context of this activism and shows that work and work activism take diverse forms, not solely focused on formal employment in capitalist enterprise, or limited to workerism, but also seeking to make social change related to non-capitalist enterprises, and unpaid domestic and reproductive labour. The examples discussed in the chapter include work to address disadvantage faced by mothers in the teaching profession in the 1970s–1980s, activism to achieve equal pay, and work by migrant women to improve industrial laws. This activism has been particularly concerned with distributions of surplus to women engaged in social reproduction. In unpacking this feminist activism about paid and unpaid labour, possibilities emerge for further activism and social change on gender and work, towards more ethical economies.

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