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[Video] Your debt or your life: a feminist approach to the multidimensional crisis
by Silvia Federici , Camille Bruneau , Verónica Gago
16 September 2021

CADTM Summer University 2021: Global Crisis, Debt Cancellation for Social Justice!

Tuesday 14 September 2021
With Silvia Federici and Verónica Gago

Silvia Federici, an Italian-American scholar, teacher, and activist from the radical autonomist feminist Marxist and anarchist tradition. She is one of the leading figures in anti-capitalist feminism. Witha long history of activism and critical examination of the capitalist globalization process and its impact on the environment, from the wages for housework campaign in New York in the early 1970s to her struggle against structural adjustment policies in Africa.

Verónica Gago is a Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and at the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (Unsam), she is also a researcher at the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) of Argentina. A feminist activist of the Collective “Ni una menos” Argentina, she is a cornerstone reference to understand the issue of debt and finance in a feminist perspective.

The increase in public and private debt has direct consequences on households’ resources and women’s lives. It is most often the women who take on the responsibilities for social reproduction and are often pressured into debt to feed and support their families, to find shelter, to get access to health care and education, etc. When crises occur, women lose their means to repay their debts. Debt also prevents women from escaping situations of domestic violence. This is how gender oppression combines with financial extortion. Since debt is a tool that reinforces capitalism, it also strengthens patriarchy: women are burdened with more and more tasks that ought to be covered by public services. Seeing how debt, capitalism and patriarchy combine to the same end, proposals put forward by feminist movements are essential to build alternatives and put the sustainability of well-being before the sustainability of markets.


Silvia Federici

is a feminist activist, teacher and writer. She is a Emerita Professor at Hofstra University (New York). Her work includes : “Revolution at Point Zero. Housework, Reproduction and Feminist Struggle ;” Caliban and the Witch. Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation« ; “Enduring Western Civilization : The Construction of the Concept of Western Civilization and its Others” (editor) ; “Thousand Flowers : Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities » (co-editor).

Camille Bruneau

CADTM Belgium

Verónica Gago