Who cares? Who pays for care? Who gives and receives care? These are some of the questions we were asked in the opening session of the WIDE annual conference, Who Cares? Feminist Perspectives on the Care Economy. Whilst many of the younger women did not stand up when asked if they were care-givers or if they paid for care, when I asked the audience who felt “new” to the WIDE network, many of the attendees stood up. So what can young women in the network contribute? What can new members to the network contribute and what do we have to say about their care economy?
Tonight, after the feminist walk around Basel, young and new women will meet to discuss what we can add to the care debate and what we can add to WIDE. We also consider how the feminist movement can draw on the experience of young women and new women. Picture the scene: You arrive at the conference for the first time and you are not yet familiar with the academic discourse in which these discussions are couched, you know that the feminist movement values experience but you do not know if your experience counts, whether anyone will listen or is interested. How can we practice what we preach and ensure that no one is excluded?
We are told that we are living in an increasingly ageing population and it is the new generation who will bear the brunt of the care burden. Young women may not feel like care-givers yet but they/we are implicated in the world’s future care economy.
But it is possible we may not have even considered what links us to the care economy now. And yes, I don’t think these links are entirely clear to me yet….but I will keep you updated!
Polly Trenow, UK GAD Network and young feminist!il
Join us to discuss these issues after the feminist walk at hotel Bildungszentrum 21 at around 9.15 for a bite to eat and a chat. The hotel is on Missionstrasse. If you walk towards Spalentor (the little tower) the opposite direction from the university you will see Missionstrasse opposite the tower. The hotel is down there on the left (number 21). See you there!