About this Archive
In March 1972, at the Women’s Liberation conference in Manchester, England, Selma James put forward Wages for Housework for the first time. It was one of six demands in the pamphlet Women, the Unions and Work…or What Is Not to Be Done, written for the conference.
It is now 50 years that WFH has been campaigning for financial recognition for the biological and societal work of reproducing the whole human race – whatever else women do.
This caring work goes on almost unnoticed everywhere, in every country and culture. It is rarely prioritised economically, politically or socially, and women are discriminated against and impoverished for doing it.
The WFH Campaign has been shaped by the autonomous organisations that formed within it – women of colour, queer women, sex workers, women with disabilities, single mothers, and a men’s network which shares its perspective on caring and autonomy. It confronts poverty, sexism, racism, deportation, criminalisation, rape, militarism, the theft and destruction of land and the natural world, and other forms of violence and discrimination against any gender. It defends the relationships we choose, and especially the bond between mother and child.
In 2000, the WFH Campaign launched the Global Women’s Strike (GWS). Since 2021 its Care Income Now campaign brings together the care and protection of people and the planet. Its international network over the years has included Canada, France, Germany, Guyana, India, Ireland, Italy, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda as well as UK and US, and contacts in many other countries.
WFH/GWS and its autonomous organisations are based at the Crossroads Women’s Centre, 25 Wolsey Mews, Kentish Town, London NW5 2DX.
Gathering material for this archive is a work in progress. The archive is being launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the WFH Campaign. It begins with its first decade:1972-1981. Each subsequent decade will be added to the archive throughout 2022.
Scope and Content
Papers regarding Selma James and the Wages for Housework (WFH) and Global Women’s Strike (GWS) campaigns. Includes pamphlets, books, press cuttings, press releases, facsimile flyers, journals, leaflets, posters and conference reports produced by UK and international groups including the Wages for Housework Campaign, Wages Due Lesbians/Queer Strike Collective, Power of Women Collective, International Feminist Collective, [1971-1981]