Free-Market Feminism

By David Conway et al.
Sept. 1998
Institute of Economic Affairs
ISBN: 1903386842
104 p.
$18.95 Paper Original

Feminists should support competitive markets instead of attacking them, according to David Conway. A liberal market order maximises the opportunities of women to participate in the world of work while retaining the option of giving priority to their maternal role.

In spite of this, many leading feminist writers have attacked the market and demanded measures to curb it, notably anti-discriminatory laws, affirmative action, equal pay for work of equal value and state provided or subsidised childcare. Conway argues that these measures - which have been adopted in many developed countries - are neither necessary nor, in the end, helpful to women.

They impose costs on production and this results in fewer jobs - which means fewer jobs for women. The market order, on the other hand, will tend to eliminate economically unjustifiable discrimination against women, since those who practice it put themselves at a competitive disadvantage by turning away the best person for the job.

Series: Choice in Welfare

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