If Women Counted

Marilyn Waring
Level: advanced
Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco
Perspective: Feminist Economics
Topic: Feminism, gender, growth
page count: 387 pages

Blurb

This is a revolutionary and powerfully argued feminist analysis of modern economics, revealing how woman's housework, caring of the young, sick and the old is automatically excluded from value in economic theory. An example of this pervasive and powerful process is the United Nations System of National Accounts which is used for wars and determining the balance of payments and loan requirements.

Book summary

'If women counted' is one of the foundational books of feminist economics, and illustrates how women's unpaid work as well as the value of nature is excluded from what is considered productive in the national economy. This book offers a systematic critique of how national accounting is conducted and what it measures. It also made the UN redefine GDP.


Comment from our editors:

The way we measure the economy, as illustrated in this book, is inherently sexist. It excludes work in the home and volunteering; women do the majority of unpaid work. According to the OECD, "women do about twice as much, 150 minutes a day more, as men in the home" (in OECD countries). In contrast to what is often thought of as an objective measurement, the book sheds light on why this is not the case.

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