Domestic Service and Gender Equality: An Unavoidable Problem for the Feminist Debate on Basic Income

Camila Vollenweider 1
  • 1 Universidad Nacional de Río Negro, Argentina
Camila Vollenweider


The debate on the desirability of a Basic Income (BI) for women has polarized between those who defend the measure as a way of reducing gender inequalities and those who believe that the policy could worsen the gender gap. This article argues for the former position, introducing the problem of domestic service, a paradigm of inequality not only between the genders but also among women. First, different dimensions of the “domestic service problem” are discussed in order to challenge the view that domestic service could be a “solution” for some gender inequalities. Second, it is argued that BI could significantly reduce outsourcing of reproductive work (at least in the private sphere) and could encourage women to demand equality in the home and a better public provision of care services. These effects of a BI could lead to a fairer overall system in terms of gender and class.

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Basic Income Studies (BIS) is the first academic journal to focus specifically on basic income and cognate policies and publishes peer-reviewed research papers, book reviews, and short accessible commentaries that discuss a central aspect of the debate on basic income and related schemes.