Beyond the Basic: The Opportunities and Risks of a Basic Income
The COVID-19 pandemic brought longstanding gender inequalities into the public’s awareness. For instance, the fact that so much of the work that is “essential” to keeping people in Canada healthy and fed—such as healthcare, caregiving, cleaning, and food provision—is performed by racialized women, and is undercompensated and precarious. The fact that income assistance, social assistance, and many of our public services (like childcare) are painfully inadequate. And the fact that gender-based violence affects so many women and gender-diverse peple and must end now.
How could a basic income program help to address these core issues of gender equality? In theory, a livable basic income could hugely reduce poverty. But moving beyond theory, what does a basic income program need to look like in practice to ensure that it genuinely helps women and gender-diverse people?