2015 Pamela Denoon Lecture - Power & unpaid work: the darkside of women’s caring roles

We live in a world where money is the basis of status, power and freedom, and yet women are expected to perform society's unpaid work; often to give up their jobs or their careers to care for children and/or for aged parents. This has profound implications for financial freedom and independence. In this lecture Marilyn Waring will explore options to overcome barriers to achieving recognition and a fair wage for care workers. She asks what options are there to change the dynamic of centuries old expectations?   

Waring’s views about what should be done have evolved over time. She no longer believes that we should put a monetary value on unpaid work and on the environment. Instead she has developed a human rights approach that puts women and other vulnerable people at the centre, asking: what would make women’s lives easier, safer and freer and what would make women more valued, productive, have more life opportunities and more power?

Marilyn Waring has spent the last 25 years working to empower women and men to challenge the priorities that mainstream economists impose on them. She is a public policy researcher, well known for her work on the value of unpaid care. Her bookCounting for Nothing: what men value and what women are worth has had worldwide impact. Her extensive body of research is internationally respected, and spans political economy, governance and public policy, gender analysis and human rights.

She is an author, scholar, environmentalist and social justice activist. She was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the age of 23 and served three terms, chairing the Public Expenditure Committee from 1979-1984.

Waring’s distinguished career includes acting as an advisor to numerous organisations not least the United Nations and in 2003 she was appointed to the Board of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. She is the winner of numerous honours and awards including the Amnesty International New Zealand Human Right’s Defender Award and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research Economics Award. In the 2014 anthology, Counting on Marilyn Waring; New Advances in Feminist Economics, 31 authors from nine countries outline the wide ranging impact and resonance of Professor Waring’s work as well as the current frontiers of feminist economics.

For more information visit Waring’s homepage at www.marilynwaring.com    

Supported by University House.