14 Mar 2018

Shorter working hours in a feminist society

Feminist sociologist Frigga Haug proposes a radical reduction of working hours -- a demand that is also found in the Austrian Women's Petition.

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Shorter working hours in a feminist society - NewsMavens
Model in Greece. Wikicommons

Why this story matters:

The Austrian government has recently announced that the maximum working time will be increased to 12 hours a day, and many politicians have called the Women's Petition request for a 30-hour work week "utopian".

Frigga Haug, on the other hand, believes that a radical reduction in working hours is the most "realistic" thing we can demand.

Her argument is that by reducing work hours, both men and women would have time for political involvement, study and personal growth -- something that few people manage to squeeze into a normal work week. Caring for relatives, she adds, would become much easier this way, and might even be considered an enrichment to our lives rather than a burden.

In this must-read interview with Beate Hausbichler, Haug makes a compelling case for the social benefits of a feminist society, and she convincingly argues that feminism has long proposed many interesting solutions to modern ills. Admittedly, we are far from living in such a society, but it is nevertheless fascinating to discuss the potential ramifications of a gender equal world.

women's issues, gender, work

Details from the story:

  • Frigga Haug (born 1937) taught sociology at the Hamburg University of Economics and Politics until 2001.
  • She is one of the editors of the journal Das Argument. She also contributed to the "Historico-Critical Dictionary of Marxism."
  • Haug is involved in adult education at trade unions. 
  • Her political and theoretical project has accompanied the women's movement for decades and is an important guideline for many feminists. Haug has always combined her scientific work as a sociologist and social psychologist with her political activities.
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