When women enter the capitalist labour market for the first time, they often enter it doing those tasks that are done at home and which are seen as women’s traditional labour; this, of course, is viewed as unskilled and hence earns low pay. Entering the labour market does not eliminate women’s primary responsibility for those tasks at home; what happens is that their exploitation in the labour market is then added to their oppression at home.
This is linked to women’s traditional role in social reproduction – caring is something that we are socialised to see as natural. This is fundamental to a world where the pursuit of profit is what is valued – even when it involves producing products that are at best ephemeral if not either useless or damaging of people and planet.
In 2016 Polish feminists went on a feminist strike to defend the decriminalization of abortion and in defense of reproductive rights; months later the Argentines stopped the country in protest against femicides and went on to call months later for the first international women’s strike, writes Laia Facet. The contagion is spreading.