Universal Basic Income and Gender (UBIG)

Grassroots feminist economic and political thoughts and their relevance and potential to a new social contract with particular focus on UBI.
First, we wish to make women’s voice on UBI visible. Second, we wish to reconstruct ‘grassroots feminist economic and political thought’ from testimony by those women who raised their voices on UBI. Thus it would be a completely radical intervention to the relevant academic disciplines. Third, based on the above two output, we wish to suggest their relevance to potential to new social contract for real gender equality. Here you see a summary of the planned research on the topic by Toru Yamamori.

The first stage of research: A manifesto and presentations based on the research that is already ongoing and will start shortly.
Toru Yamamori’s ongoing research has revealed the totally forgotten fact that UBI was one of officially and democratically determined demands of the British Women’s liberation movement in 1970’s. Based on the testimony by those women, Yamamori is currently writing a paper on ‘Grassroots Feminist Economic Thought’. Its abstract is recently accepted by ‘History of Economic Thought Diversity Caucus Online Conference’.
Chloe Halpenny, Kaori Katada and Toru Yamamori will collect testimony on economic thought from each own research based on interviews, and Liz Fouksman will provide additional data from her ethnographic work. Halpenny has conducted the interviews of women who participated to the Ontario UBI experiment. Fouksman has conducted interviews of women who are unemployed in South Africa. Katada will start her oral historical project on women who were involved in claimants movement in Japan.

The second stage of the research: Collective reconstruction and articulation of ‘grassroots feminist economic and political thought’
In this stage, we analyse and discuss collectively on the above output if there would be commonality etc. The valuable experiences of Barb Jacobson and Renana Jhabvala on the relevant social movements will be a guidance on this stage.

The third stage of the research: locating the above research on the academic disciplines. Yamamori will conduct a theoretical work on how the above output can be located in the academic discipline of history of economic thought. Zelleke will conduct a theoretical work on how the above output can be located in the academic discipline of political theory. Fouksman will do theoretical work in locating this study in the broader discipline of economic anthropology, feminist notions of value, and in the framework of moral economy and social reproduction theory.

The forth stage of research: evaluation and presentation of the nature of work and of cooperation of women, the view of work and of economy of women – in contrast to the male nature and view of it – from the experience of SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association, 1,8 million women strong ) and the Basic Income Pilot Project for women in New Delhi and the big pilot project in Madhya Pradesh.
SEWA and the UBI project in India offer a rich and still untapped experiential material on how women’s work, their understanding of work and economy, their way of working together, differs from that of men.
The data from Canada and from the study on England also serve as a comparison and supplement. In addition, the research already done by Liz Fouksman on work and women in South Africa serves as a critical and expanding contribution to this.
Renana Jhabvala is organizing access and exploration of the experience in part with SEWA and pilot project participants. The investigation is into the kinds of work, including care work, that women specifically do and how the basic income impacts this work.

Introduction of a basic income combined with the creation of a new social contract from the point of view of women.
Incorporating the research findings from the team’s two aforementioned projects, a social contract should be drafted with legislation that shapes the factors necessary for real gender equity in the context of the UBI. This part of the project will be led by Almaz Zelleke. This can relate to a community in the US with contacts to Mayors for UBI. The point here is to present, for once, in its entirety, a draft society that would equalize women – or whatever you call it, which is necessary – and have the UBI as its basis.

Research Team

Dr. Liz Fouksman
Elizaveta Fouksman is a Lecturer (equiv. Assistant Professor) in Social Justice at the Centre for Public Policy Research at King’s College London. She is also a research associate of the University of Oxford and the University of the Witwatersrand.
She has a DPhil in International Development from the University of Oxford (where she was a Rhodes Scholar), and has held research fellowships from the Leverhulme Trust, the Berggruen Institute and the Ford Foundation at (respectively) the University of Oxford, Harvard University and the University of the Witwatersrand.
Liz focuses on the ways the long-term unemployed in countries with high inequality and unemployment rates think about links between time-use, work, and income. Much of her fieldwork in South Africa and Namibia asks how such links challenge both proposals to expand social protection through means such as unconditional cash transfers, as well as more radical calls for the decommodification of labor via mechanisms such as a universal basic income guarantee and/or shorter working hours.
Liz has written popular press articles for OpenDemocracy, The Conversation and the Global Labour Journal.
Lives in Oxford, UK

Chloe Halpenny
Chloe is a social policy researcher at the Social Research and Demonstration Corporation  and a basic income advocate based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her Master’s dissertation at the University of Cambridge, “Basic Income: A Feminist Proposal? Informing feminist analyses through the lived experience of Ontario Basic Income Pilot participants,” focused on participant experiences in the Ontario Basic Income Pilot project, which ran between 2018 and 2019 in three Ontario municipalities. Her research comprised a critical feminist analysis of basic income, drawing on original qualitative interview data with 26 participants in the pilot. Chloe is a co-founder and co-chair of the Basic Income Canadian Youth Network and Youth Liaison for the Ontario Basic Income Network.
Chloe Halpenny: “Youth Voices are Needed in the Basic Income Debate
“All Canadian Youth Deserve a Future”, a Conversation with Chloe Halpenny about Guaranteed Livable Income
Lives in Ottawa, Canada

Prof. Dr. Kaori Katada
Associate Professor at Hosei University in Tokyo, Department of Social and Political Sciences.
Kaori Katada has specialized in gender and UBI for many years.
Article by her on UBI in the Center for Gender Studies
Lives in Tokyo, Japan

Prof. Dr. Toru Yamamori
Professor in Economics at Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan.
Toru Yamamori has been working on philosophical foundation of feminist economics, and on oral history of the working-class women’s liberation movement that demanded UBI in the 1970’s Britain. The former is recognised with the award of the 2017 K. W. Kapp Prize from the European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy, the second-largest association for economists in Europe. The latter won the 2014 Basic Income Studies Best Essay prize.
Video Interview with Toru Yamamori at the BIEN Congress 2014 in Montreal.
Toru Yamamori is the academic research editor of BIEN (Basic Income Earth Network)
Lives in Kyoto, Japan

Prof. Dr. Almaz Zelleke
Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University and an A.B. in Politics from Princeton University, Professor of Practice in Political Science at New York University Shanghai.
Prof. Zelleke teaches at Harvard University and the New York School. She specializes in UBI, including gender, is involved in BIEN and NABIG, and has published on UBI issues.
Lives in NYC, USA

Transfer Team

Barb Jacobson
Former head of the European Basic Income Network, head of BIEN UK, involved in the decision of the Labor Party in the UK to include BI in the program, collaboration with David Graeber, specializing in UBI and gender among other issues.
Director of BIEN News | Newsletter.
Lives in London, UK

Renana Jhabvala
She has been a leader in SEWA a trade union with 1.8 million women members, and is now the president of SEWA Bharat the All-India organization within SEWA family, and she is co-initiator of UBI for women projects in Delhi and 2013 in Madhya Pradesh, the large and well-known UBI project in several villages India. At the project in Madhya Pradesh were involved also Prof. Guy Standing, co-founder of BIEN, and Dr. Sarath Davala, Chair of BIEN.
Lives in Ahmedabad, India

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