From age 17 I cared for Lew. After we married I did all the cooking, housework, driving and caring for him in ways I hadn’t expected, because he was unable to care for himself in these ways. Thanks to the State, he could not go into a shop, or a bank. He was unable to deal with authority at all. He needed a great deal of emotional support as well. After our children arrived my workload increased exponentially. I spent decades slaving for my family with no recompense, and only managed to escape homelessness aged 60 because a compassionate lawyer recognized the trouble I was in. I have no savings, but am extremely fortunate in that I have room tenants who pay the mortgage.
When I see stuff about gender pay gaps and women not having anything for their retirement, it makes me laugh. I have nothing. Maybe this will change if we manage to hang on to this home longer than any of the other 25. How many women have spent their entire adult lives slaving for their families, and have absolutely nothing to show for it, not even the joy of knowing their grandchildren? It’s time women were paid for their unpaid labour and acknowledged, for spending a lifetime tidying up after people, cooking, cleaning, being Mum’s taxi, organizing housing for people, and so much more!