In this article, I discuss a radical proposal to combat poverty and unemployment: the establishment of a state-funded ‘basic income’ for every citizen. This would be independent of sex, age, need, family responsibilities, or employment status. Here, I outline the basic income proposal, and the debates in the countries where it is currently being discussed. This proposal is not only of interest to the richest countries; southern countries are also interested in it as a method of combating poverty. I discuss different arguments put forward for a basic income, and relate these to ethical and moral questions. I also discuss ways of financing the proposal. Finally, I ask whether a basic income is a desirable policy for women, or whether additional concerns can be raised from a gender perspective.
This article is hosted by our co-publisher Taylor & Francis. For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.
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