WOMEN, THE CRISIS AND RADICAL (SOCIAL) CARE
The workshop »Women, the crisis and radical (social) care« was a part of the Hub meeting 2013, which took place between 18. – 20. 4. in Maribor and Ljubljana. The Hub meeting is a continuation of the process of building a transnational network of movements and a common struggle against austerity measures. In collaboration with Lesbian-feminist University we decided to not only participate and support the process, but also to try to insert our own perspectives within the struggles. The workshop focused around the points: women and crisis; the presentation of practices of struggle; conceptualization of radical (social) care in the community. It also allowed us to exchange experience with other women’s struggles from different countries. The workshop was concluded by a direct action/intervention, arising from the discussions on the workshop.
Firstly we discussed the specific ways in which women are affected by the crisis: we mentioned the ongoing processes of redomestification and repatriarchalization, we mentioned underpayment and invisibility of women’s work, the rising precarious forms of employment and reproductive work as a field of exploitation. We detected a strong connection between capitalism and patriarchy, which generate one another and are reinforced through the crisis, although we can recognize patriarchy as a preceding problem.
Second focus of the workshop was discussing the specific practices of embedding feminist perspective in mass mobilizations and adding social and feminist content to the uprisings. Detecting the focus of the public only on overthrowing the government and a complete lack of reflection on structural issues, we felt it was important advocating and pushing agendas which would otherwise remain marginalized. When creating interventions in the public space, we are radicalizing women’s voices – an open question remained if it was possible for feminist movements to not be radical?
Last focus of the workshop was creating a system of radical care as a space of commons and also as a form of constituent process. How to take the stories of exploitation and empower the people to self-organize from below? The concept revolves on creating mechanisms of care outside the control and discipline of the state but also overcoming the volunteer/charity models of care (the latter we see as another source of exploitation by the system). Community radical care means also finding ways to survive the crisis and building alternative solutions to the existing, hierarchical and inaccessible systems of healthcare and social services.
Radical is the new social!