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Marilyn Waring in the first chapter of her book “Counting for Nothing: what men value and what women are worth” analyses the place of women’s labor in the international economic system. From her point of view, though women are being economically productive, they are being…
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A Woman’s Reckoning” – text analysis Marilyn Waring in the first chapter of her book “Counting for Nothing: what men value and what women are worth” analyses the place of women’s labor in the international economic system. From her point of view, though women are being economically productive, they are being underestimated by the world marked and their work is being recognized as “obvious”.
So if calculate the cost of the womens housework on several criteria, we will find out that total price of housewives work is a good part of each countrys GDP (sometimes this figure reaches 40%). In fact, besides cleaning, washing, cooking, child care and teaching, meticulous economists consider that a woman works as a private economist-accountant; in addition she gives first aid, care and psychological support for sick family members at the level of nurses. But always it is taken for granted.
The reason for such existing underestimation of women’s labor author sees in difficulty of its treating from the standpoint of price. The concept of the value, firstly distinguished in relation to the market by Adam Smith, comes to be far from “moral” value expression. Thus, “value” comes to be only the price one can get for goods and services distribution. So women turn to be a kind of nature resources which worthless when preserved to future generations and only their use establish their validity. Both environment and women’s household labor are constituted to be free gift of nature and their preservation may be considered only as a cost.
Women are seen to be “economically inactive”, though their housework is implicitly taxed by not being valued. Thus, the problem comes when women’s everyday work is not recognized in the distribution of benefits. Though money payments are not necessary for the work to be done, when work becomes a concept in institutionalized economics payment should inevitably enter the picture, as “money should change hands”. Thus it proves that women are being totally ignored as creators of wealth, though for ages they’ve been at least cultural wealth accumulators. But while women cannot exchange their family production on the market, they make no use of own labor power.
The other problem women just came conscious about is that they are being seen just as instruments of economic system, though any time women need convincing about the necessity of household work. The solution of this problem may be seen (at least from V. Lenin’s point of view) in involvement of women into social production.
However, from my point of view, it is not necessary to focus too much on such calculations and evaluate each washed plate and ironed shirt in money equivalent. What we give to our beloved people and get in return cannot be estimated.
Works Cited
Waring, Marilyn. Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women Are Worth. Toronto: University of Toronto Press Incorporated, 1999.
Ward, K. B. "Women in the World Economic System: Its Impact on Status and Fertility." Contemporary Sociology May 1987: 358-359. Read More
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