Feminist Perspectives on Basic Income

Part of the Exploring the Basic Income Guarantee book series (BIG)


Feminist claims for equality have, for too long, been defined by dominant male criteria and values, which fail to recognise the high level of unpaid contributions made by women. Current debate on the provision of an ‘unearned’ Basic Income (BI) offers a rare opportunity to address intransigent gender pay and status gaps. Western societies’ long industrial history of paid work served to increase the established gender divide by only valuing people by their earned/owned income. There are increasingly relevant arguments for a BI as demand for paid workers diminishes. If universal, this type of payment should acknowledge the value of unpaid work time contributions, now provided mainly by women but, hopefully in the future, by more men. It would address the income inequities created by unpaid women being the main providers of services, as well as being underpaid for commercialised similar roles.

Therefore, feminist lenses are required to devise more appropriate versions of the future, which are not limited by masculinised viewpoints. These alternate viewpoints return value to current unpaid social roles and contributions to citizenship that are not dependent on paid roles and can devise payments to match.


Gender wage gap Universal social dividend (USD) Income entitlements Social security reform Feminist policy Gender equity 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eva Cox
    • 1
  1. 1.Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and ResearchUniversity of Technology SydneyUltimoAustralia

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