Second Wave Feminism | The campaign for women's rights in the 1970s
CHANNEL | BBC 2
FIRST BROADCAST | 21 January 1971
DURATION | 30 minutes
Selma James, a socialist and feminist, uses her own experiences working in low-paid jobs and being a mother and housewife as a starting point in this investigation into whether women are exploited in all areas of society. Interviews with full-time housewives, and with females who work outside the home but still do almost all of the household chores, reveal the true extent of women's work. James goes on to ask whether equal pay outside the home and a real division of housework between men and women will ever become a reality.
In 1972, a year after this programme was broadcast, a key work by Selma James, 'Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community', was published. In this, she expands on the ideas put forward in the programme and argues that the entire labour market is built upon the unpaid work of women. Also in 1972, James set up the International Wages for Housework Campaign, which argues that running the home should be recognised as work in official statistics and that people doing this labour should be paid a wage by the government.
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