Does the lockdown reveal the failure of equal opportunity?
Künzelsau, 27.01.2021 - Women have never been more 'systemically relevant' than in the Corona crisis - and rarely more burdened. Worldwide, 70 percent of the staff in social and caring professions are women. Even in normal times, they also do on average three times as much unpaid 'care work' as men. In the current crisis this threatens to be their undoing. It is predominantly women who reduce their working hours more with each lockdown in order to look after children, to go to school or to take care of needy family members. This development makes it abundantly clear how fragile the supposed equality actually was. In fact, women run the risk of becoming the big losers of the crisis if the world of work is not comprehensively reformed. To social scientists, a fundamental transformation of our current employment models seems inevitable if men and women are finally to have equal opportunities. The economic bionics of the Gradido academy already compiled the suitable concept in addition. They are building firmly on the equal participation of the sexes - according to nature's models of success.
Traditionally, women have not only taken on the lion's share of care for the elderly and sick, but also of domestic and family work and the care of needy relatives. On the one hand, they serve the traditional self-image that this is an expression of loving care. On the other hand, the persistently lower pay for female employees means that even today it is predominantly women who reduce their professional commitment when children or parents need support. If the double burden was a major challenge even before the Corona Crisis, it is becoming a serious burden in the era of home office and homeschooling - with threatening consequences. Recent research has found that each additional lockdown causes women to further reduce their work hours in favor of increasing family responsibilities. Economists fear that many female workers risk permanent income losses and a painful career setback because of this trend.
According to the German Institute for Economic Research, the proportion of women in the 'system-relevant' occupational groups is just under 75 percent. As nurses and geriatric nurses, they take care of sick people on the front line. Cashiers "keep the store running". Nursery nurses look after the children of those who cannot stay away from their systemically important jobs when schools and day-care centres are closed. What these "women's jobs" have in common, however, is not only that they are considered indispensable in the Corona crisis, but also that they are predominantly poorly paid. Freely following the motto "What is done 'for free' in the family can't cost much", the typically female jobs still have no appropriate economic value on the labour market either. This social contempt of the care work is not only unbearable, but also in the highest measure nonsensical" Margret Baier, the owner of the Gradido academy, outraged itself, "because this female care work is existential both for our economy and our prosperity." Women's work performance is the backbone of our system, and not just in this crisis."
Regardless of this, the latest survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation has confirmed how massively the Corona crisis has manifested traditional role models in the family - and how overburdened women are physically and psychologically as a result. "There is a need for an interdisciplinary social discourse on the advantages and disadvantages of a modern world of work. Labour market and employment policy, family and health policy can no longer be considered separately," says Martin Spilker, the director of the foundation's own Competence Centre for Corporate Culture and Leadership.
"We urgently need more flexible working models and an appropriate appreciation and remuneration of care work," also confirms Bernd Hückstädt, the co-founder of the Gradido Academy. For more than two decades, economic bionics experts at this independent research institute have developed the Gradido common wealth currency as the core of a new economic and financial model. "It has been clear to us for a very long time that the prevailing model can no longer work in the long run. The crisis has therefore not given us any surprises, but only brought into focus the problems that were inevitably to come. Now, however, there is an urgent need for a course correction, because under no circumstances will future generations allow themselves to be forced into the way of life that a continuation of the current economic model would bring them. How women are already suffering as a result is becoming quite obvious right now."
The solution model of the Gradido Academy is based on the millennia-old success models of nature. Following the natural cycle of becoming and passing away, the economic bionics have created a combination of the common good currency Gradido with an 'Active Basic Income' and a debt-free money creation according to the 'Triple Good'. Specifically, the transformation of the prevailing economic and financial system into this Gradido model would mean the end of the debt money principle. Instead, 3 x 1,000 Gradido would be created monthly for each person. 1,000 Gradido would be available to the state budget. In Germany, this money creation would be roughly equivalent to the current public budget (federal, state and local) plus health and social services. Another 1,000 Gradido would be scooped per capita for the equalization and environmental funds. The last third would be available to everyone as an 'Active Basic Income', thus not only ensuring that each individual is provided with the necessities of life, but also ensuring that women and men can in future be equally active and fulfilled in their careers and families.
The need for a structural change is also confirmed by Prof. Dr. Bettina Kohlrausch, the scientific director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (WSI) of the Hans Böckler Foundation. In the podcast "Systemrelevant", she elaborates on the question of how hard the Corona crisis is hitting women: "A real structural change is essential, because it cannot be that women are expected to work poorly paid, underpaid or unpaid as a matter of course. Today's structures only work because women are doubly socialized, thus traveling in the labor market and private care, and ultimately performing work in both areas that is not adequately recognized." In addition, Kohlrausch, who is also a professor of transformation at the University of Paderborn, calls for "realistically organizing work and gainful employment time in a way that leaves enough time for family work and volunteer activities."
"Only the transformation of the patriarchal economic and financial system will also be able to eliminate the long-term problems that result from the lifelong discrimination of most women in the labour market: The eternally threatening poverty trap when a marriage fails or for single parents - and old-age poverty, which particularly affects women," also elaborates Bernd Hückstädt, explaining, "In our Gradido model, care work therefore receives the same appreciation as any other task. Our concern is to shape a world that actually corresponds to the reality of life and the needs of people." Margret Baier adds, "Following nature's example, every successful model thrives on the equal representation of female and male influences - even without a 'women's quota'. In the Gradido Academy, many women have been active from the very beginning."
In order to secure people's basic needs at every stage of their working lives, the Gradido model also provides for a basic income. Unlike the much-discussed unconditional basic income, the 'Active Basic Income' of a maximum of 1,000 Gradido per month is granted to people for activities they willingly undertake in order to contribute to and for the community. In this respect, the appreciation of all that is essential for caring togetherness is quasi immanent in this system. In addition, 'Unconditional and Equal Participation' opens up the possibility for women, men and children of all ages to discover new talents, to try themselves out in a wide variety of areas and thus to develop their full potential. Bernd Hückstädt commented: "Our declared aim is to give children and children's children of all genders, skin colours and backgrounds a future worth living. This presupposes that everyone is doing well and caring for each other. This makes people happy, because not only their hearts are wide, but also the possibilities to shape the time on earth in a meaningful and versatile way. Sounds utopian, but according to our findings, it's actually doable."
Details of the full 'Gradido Model' and Gradido Podcast at. https://gradido.net
About the Gradido Academy
The Gradido Academy for Economic Bionics has developed an alternative 'common good currency' based on the models of nature. Nature follows the rule that only where something passes away can something new emerge, and thus long-term improvement (evolution) is possible. Its recipe for success is the 'cycle of life'. If our economy were also to follow this natural cycle, then, according to the assessment of the bionic economists, practically all the world's monetary problems could be solved. The Gradido model is based on the idea that not only every person, but also every state receives income generated on a credit basis. It can thus fulfil all its tasks without having to collect taxes. Deflation or inflation are a thing of the past. The economy is freed from the constant compulsion to grow, the danger of a collapse of the financial system is finally averted.(www.gradido.net)