#special issue: Becoming a Mother


Tsaplya/Dmitry Vilensky /// Becoming a Mother

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The Role of Care in Contemporary Capital.

The production of values and knowledge would be unimaginable without the reproduction of life as such. Obviously, a mother’s role goes far beyond basic biological reproduction; in fact, mothers define the production of subjectivity itself. Yet although their labor of love is so central, mothers have constantly been excluded from older conceptions of production, stigmatized as the performers of unpaid dirty work, incapable of sparking any social change whatsoever.

The recent emergence of movements like Global Women’s Strike, the Committee of Soldier’s Mothers in Russia, the Mothers of the Plaza De Mayo, and a number of other organizations show that mothers are consciously taking on their role as an important collective force, further adding to a fundamental reconsideration of the role of motherhood in society, production, and politics.

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Marie Silkeberg /// Giving birth

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n o t o f p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n a l o n e
as though boundlessness of human interrelatedness were only the result of the boundless multitude of people involved, which could be escaped by resigning oneself to action within a
limited, graspable framework of circumstances, the smallest act in the most limited circumstances bears the seed of the same boundlessness, because one deed, and sometimes one word,
suffices to change every constellation
i n t h e n a r r o w e r s e n s e o f t h e w o r d
open paragraph never comma had i sensed comma something like comma it comma the body comma the intense drumming comma the physical sensations comma could be identified
comma as pain comma but so connected comma to menstruation comma to sex comma known comma unknown comma labour close paragraph

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Anna Rotkirch – Anna Temkina – Elena Zdravomyslova /// Who helps the degraded housewife?

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Comments on Vladimir Putin’s demographic speech

In his annual address to the nation May 2006, Russian president Vladimir Putin made several new suggestions concerning family and child care policy. Later in this year his proposals were confirmed by the Duma and received legal status. This is the first time that post-socialist gender politics have been so clearly outlined in Russia. While Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-80s envisioned the possibility of women returning to their traditional roles as a means to lighten their double burden, Putin strongly advocated both wage-work and state support for Russian mothers. What rhetorical and political strategies explain this interesting move? What gender ideology lies behind them?

Introducing maternal capital

Putin’s 2006 address first noted how Russia’s worrisome demographic development—“the most acute problem facing our country today”—is affected by three processes: mortality, migration and fertility. Road safety should be improved, and skilled migrants encouraged to immigrate. He also mentioned improving general quality of life and supporting maternal care centers.

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Global women’s strike /// We Demand

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The Strike and its demands give a unique framework for grassroots women and girls to express our needs whatever our situation, race, nationality, age, income, occupation, dis/ability, sexual preference . . . in towns and cities but also in villages, where most of us live. We hope that whatever demands you highlight or add, you will list them ALL. The demands unite everyone taking part in the
Strike, and to each local action they bring international power. The anti-globalization, anti-war movement, to which women are contributing so much hard work and energy, is just beginning to recognize that Invest in Caring not Killing is a perspective for winning.

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Caroline Malmstrom /// A short introduction to the conditions of Swedish children and their mothers

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During the 20th century Sweden went from being an almost all-blonde, agricultural kind of society to a multicultural society based
on duty and education. A reduced number of newborn babies, less people living in confined quarters and increased economical
resources for the households were some of the results. Accordingly, the Swedish people have more space and more money but reproduce themselves less than before. Also, fewer babies are born today in families situated in Stockholm compared to the rest of the country (1.79 to 1.83 per family).

During the 1930’s a motherhood insurance was introduced to Swedish women. In 2007 the parental benefits have been extended
and guarantee both mothers and fathers the possibility to combine work with having children. For example can parental allowance
be paid out for 480 days and depends on the parents earlier income. The child allowance, introduced in 1947, is paid every month until the quarter of the child’s 16th birthday. Today it is SEK 1050 and further child allowance supplement can be paid out if you have more than one child. Regarding gender equality, one can note that 80% of the parental leave-days are used by the mother and only 36% of the parental allowance when a child gets sick is used by the father.

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