Women's Livable Income Working Group Researching Guaranteed Livable IncomeWednesday, July 28 2010
The Women's Livable Income Working Group of the Status of Women Action Group (SWAG) is carrying out an 18 month project (as of July 2005) examining how women would benefit from a Guaranteed Livable Income.
Funded by Status of Women Canada, the Women's Economic Justice Project follows up on work started over 30 years ago by the Royal Commission on the Status of Women which recommended guaranteed annual income especially for single parents. Today Guaranteed Livable Income (GLI) or Basic Income, is experiencing a world wide revival. South Africa, Brazil, England, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, the US and numerous other countries, have active guaranteed income groups. At the most recent World Social Forum in Brazil, 800 people attended a forum on the topic.
The goals of the Women's Economic Justice Project are to:
- Investigate the benefits to women of a universal GLI as compared to both the continuation of the feminization of poverty and the costs of pursuing jobs (full employment) as a solution to poverty;
- Disseminate our findings to expand social policy debate in BC and elsewhere to include a discussion of guaranteed livable income;
- Analyze the response to our findings in order increase effectiveness of future action on women's economic justice.
The project will include 40 in-depth interviews with low-income women, several focus groups, a public meeting in April 2006 and the distribution of multi-media material. More details of the project are available on the SWAG website:
There is currently renewed interest in guaranteed income by feminists. The Pictou Statement, drafted by over a dozen feminists from across Canada, was published in the Canadian Woman Studies journal in December 2004: "We expect our rightful share of the wealth we have created. Women's work must be recognized and valued both within and beyond monetary measures. Women demand an indexed guaranteed living income for all individual residents set at a level to enable comfortable living." (the full statement can be viewed at:
In April 2005, the Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centres passed a resolution supporting the Pictou Statement. (A wide range of links and articles on Guaranteed Livable Income is also available on the LIFE -Livable Income For Everyone http://www.livableincome.org which was chosen as "Pick of the Week" in Jan. 05 by StraightGoods.com)
A 32-page Guaranteed Livable Income Reader has been created to provide a overview of historic and current writings on guaranteed income for project participants. It includes 135 quotes and covers the topics of: What is it?; Herstory/history; Today's worldwide movement; Why should women care about a GLI?; What is work?; Objections/worries; Reality check and Costs.
There are a limited number of GLI Readers available to interested community groups and SWAG members. Please contact SWAG to request a copy. (Contact info below)
We would like to thank the Status of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region for financial support towards our initiative.
Women's Economic Justice Project Coordinator: Cindy L'Hirondelle
Victoria Status of Women Action Group (SWAG)
Phone: 250-383-7322 (no fax)
Box 8484, Victoria BC, V8W 3S1
Coast Salish Territory