Basic Income Guarantee, gender, feminism, independent income, intra-household inequality


The potential of a Basic Income Guarantee (BIG) to contribute to gender equality is a contested issue amongst feminist scholars. This article focuses on the nature of BIG as an individually- based payment to explore its potential for reducing gender equality, specifically intra-household inequalities in material or financial welfare; economic autonomy; psychological well-being; and time allocation, especially leisure time and time spent in household and care work. We employ a gender analysis of existing BIG pilots/schemes as well as close substitutes (e.g., universal child benefits) to assess some of the key claims about the effects of a basic income (BI) on gendered inequality. We also present findings from empirical work on intra-household allocation and decision-making which underscore the role of independent income. The article finds some support for BIG as a feminist proposal with respect to mitigating intra-household inequality, but concludes that further empirical research is needed to argue persuasively for BIG as an instrument for furthering gender equality.

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