Feminist economists call for debt moratorium for Greece

Resolution of feminist economists gathering at the IAFFE Conference in Berlin, July 16-18, 2015


We are shocked that the EU institutions and European leaders are imposing on the people of Greece a further program of austerity that will severely undermine the living conditions of women and men and plunge them into a deep crisis of deprivation. This hits Greek women particularly hard as they will have to provide the safety net of last resort through intensified work of taking care of their families, friends and communities.

As feminist economists, as well as many other economists, have stressed over many years, the debt burden is unsustainable, this fact has recently even been acknowledged by the IMF. Thus, the hardship imposed on Greek people will not resolve the problem of its indebtedness, but it will rather worsen the great depression.

The fate of women, men and their families should not be abandoned by EU institutions and politicians and left in the hands of financial powers. The same neoliberal political perspective under the name of “structural adjustments”, has led to enormous sufferings and political instability in Latin America, Asia and Africa. As we know, the vicious circle was only interrupted by a drastic change in political perspective and policies.

Women across Europe, although in different ways according to class, citizenship and ethnicity, have already been disadvantaged by the neoliberal policy of the EU institutions and member state governments. The proposed action against Greece will further damage women’s economic and social status and autonomy in all EU countries.

In addition to jeopardizing the independence and democratic basis of a Member State government, austerity imperils women’s and men’s power to design and implement transformative policies for a sustainable and democratic future that puts women’s and men’s well-being at the center.

Painful lessons of history, especially of the First and Second World War, should never be forgotten. Europe has to be alert to the political and economic dangers that are embedded in this austerity approach. Furthermore, history teaches us that these problems can only be solved by significant debt reduction, as for example in 1953, and by international solidarity and collaboration.

We call upon EU leaders and in particular the government of Germany to come to an agreement with Greece respecting the dignity of Greek people and democratic processes, including

  • an immediate moratorium on Greek government debt and negotiate a write-down of this debt,
  • a progressive fiscal policy that takes into proper account the distribution of income between labour and financial capital; sustains the process of social reproduction that enables women and men, in their life cycle, to live and work with dignity; promotes the creation of high-quality jobs, aiming at a substantial reduction of working hours for all, and investment in public services and care infrastructure.

Berlin, 19 July 2015

Signed by*

Agata Chelstowska Institute of Public Affairs, University of Warsaw, Poland
Alena Krizkova Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences
Alina Sobotta Student, Germany
Amaia Perez Orozco Eje de Economia Feminista, Spain
Anupama Uppal Punjabi University, India
Ana Sanchez Eje de Precariedad y Economic Feminista, Madrid, Spain
Andrea Collins IAFFE
Angela O’Hagan Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Anna Zachorowska GEM-Europe, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Antje Schrupp Publicist, Germany
Antonella Picchio Center for Analysis of Public Policy, Department of Economics, Modena, Italy
Ariane Götz IASS
Baer Bei Holzheuer Germany
Barbara Hopkins Wright State University, USA
Bilge Erten Northeastern University, USA
Brenda Boonabaara Makerere University, Uganda
Caitlin Kieran
Carla Dohmewirth Independent Researcher, Germany
Carlo D’Ippoliti Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
Carmen Diana Deere University of Florida, USA
Carol Frances Independent, USA
Cassandra Guamri University of California, USA
Catharina Schmitz Indevelop, Sweden
Christa Schlager Beigewum, Austria
Christine Curley Colorado State University, USA
Corina Rodriguez Enriquez DAWN-GEM LAC, Argentina
David Kucera ILO, Geneva, Switzerland
Diane Elson Essex University, UK
Doris Weichselbaumer Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
Drucilla Barker University of South Carolina, USA
Ebru Kongar Dickinson College, USA
Eirini Petratou Leeds University, Business School, UK
Elaine McCrate University of Vermont, USA
Elisabeth Klatzer Wien Universitat, Wien
Elizabeth Stiefel Köln Agenda, Germany
Emily Thomson Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Emmanuel Petit Bordeaux University, France
Erofili Graspa University of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
Eugenia Correa Mexico National University, Mexico
Ewa Ruminiska-Zimny GEM-Europe, Polish Academy of Science and Congress of Polish Women, Poland
Felizitas Sagebiel University of Wuppertal, Germany
Fiona Carmichael University of Birmingham, UK
Fırat Cengiz University of Liverpool, UK
Francisca Pereyra Universidad Nacional General Sarmiento, Argentina
Francisco Cos LSE Gender Institute Alumni, UK
Gary Dymski Leeds University, Business School, UK
Giovanna De Giusti Maseno University, Kenya
Günseli Berik University of Utah, USA
Haris Gazdar Collective For Social Science Research, Pakistan
Hasan Tekguc Mardin Artuklu University, Turkey
Heidi Hartmann George Washington University, USA
Indira Hirway Centre for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad, India
Ipek Ilkkaracan GEM-Europe, KEIG and Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
Irina Kalabichina Moscow State University, Russia
Ina Praetorius Freelance
Jayati Ghosh Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Jayoung Yoon Korea Labor Institute, Korea
Jen Broadhurst Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Jennifer Olmsted Drew University, USA
Jennifer Twyman
Jerome de Henau Open University, UK
Jhon J. Mon
Joelle Leclaire Suny Bufallo State, USA
Jooyeoun Sun University of Oxford – Center for Time-use Research, UK
Joyce Jacobson Wesleyan University, USA
Julia Schuster Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria
Juliet Allen
Kanchana Ruwanpura University of Edinburgh, UK
Katrien von Aelst University of Antwerp, Belgium
Katrin Schneider Independent
Kazuyo Yamada Chiga University, Japan
Kate Bahn The New School for Social Research, USA
Kimie Kondo Osaka Pretecture University, Japan
Kumiko Ida Osaka Pretecture University, Japan
Lisa Alano University of Amsterdam
Lourdes Beneria Cornell University, USA
Lee Badgett University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
Lucia Perez Fragoso Equidad de Genero AC and GEM-LAC, Mexico
Maja Bosnic Gender Budgeting Project, Ukraine
Malee Sunpuwan Mahidol University, Thailand
Maria Letzgus Independent Researcher
Manuel (Butch) Montes The South Centre, Geneva, Swizterland
Maria Dolores Martinez Senano University of Murcia, Spain
Maria Laura Di Tommaso University of Torino, Italy
Mariama Williams GEM- LAC and Caribbean Dawn
Mariko Adachi Ochanomizu University, Japan
Marta Murray-Close University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
Martha MacDonald Saint Mary’s University, Canada
Marzia Fontana Independent, UK
Maxine Molyneux University College London, UK
Meltem Arıoğlu Pultar KEIG Platform, Istanbul, Turkey
Monica Das Delhi University, India
Myra H. Strober Stanford University, USA
Naila Kabeer London School of Economics, UK
Nancy Folbre Political Economy Research Institution, UMass, Amherst, USA
Nata Duvvury NUI Galway, Ireland
Neha Hui University of Reading, UK
Nilüfer Çağatay GEM-IWG, GEM-Europe and University of Utah, USA
Nobako Hara Hosei University, Tokyo, Japan
Norma Schmitt DIW, Berlin, Germany
Olagoke Akintola University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa
Peter Mburu University of Nairobi – ICIDE, Kenya
Radka Dudova Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences
Randy Albelda UMass, Boston, USA
Renata Moreno SOF-USP, Brazil
Renata Serra University of Florida, USA
Rhys Jenkins University of East Anglia, UK
Rita Heq
Rosalba Todaro Centro de Estudios de la Mujer, Santiago, Chile
Ruth Pearson  University of Leeds, UK
Sara Cantillon Glasgow Caledonian University, UK
Sara Davisac New York University, USA
Sara Lafuente Funes CSIC-Spanish National Research Council, Spain
Şemsa Özar Boğaziçi Üniversitesi, Turkey
Serena Natile University of Kent, UK
Santosh Nandal M.D. University Rohtak, India
Sheba Tejani The New School for Social Research, USA
Silke Steinhilber  

Research, Evaluation and Capacity Development for Gender Equality, Germany

Silvia Berger Ministerio de Economía Buenos Aires, Argentina
Smita Ramnarain Siena College, USA
Soledad Salvador Ciedur, Uruguay
Srinivas Raghavendra National University of Ireland, Ireland
Tamaradee Kuumya Kasetsart University, Thailand
Thalia G. Kidder Oxfam, UK
Thera van Ocsh Foundation for the Economy of Care, Netherlands
Thomas Masterson Levy Economics Institute of Bard College, USA
Tomoko Nakahara Kobe University, Japan
Ulla Grapard Colgate University, USA
Usa Kukuo University of Amsterdam
Valeria Esquivel UNRISD, Geneva, Switzerland
Valentine M. Moghadam Northeastern University, USA
Vanda Narciso University of Leeds, UK
Wendy Olsen University of Manchester, UK
Yayoi Sugihashi Kanazawa University, Japan
Yelda Yücel Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey
Yolanda Jubeto University of Basque Country, Spain
Zofia Lapniewska London School of Economics
Zuzana Uhde The Czech Academy of Sciences


* Affiliations of signatories are for identification purposes only, and do not necessarily represent endorsement of the statement by the organization.