Politics Theory

Feminists and State Welfare

Feminists and State WelfareJennifer Dale and
Peggy Foster

Designed for students of social policy and women’s studies, this text gives a readable account of the wide range of feminist ideas about women and welfare. The authors draw on feminist theory, research and analysis to explore women’s experiences of welfare, and the debates within feminism on how and why the welfare state oppresses women. In an original contribution they discuss women’s impact on the development of the welfare state both as feminist campaigners and as pioneers of new welfare professions. The book concludes by reviewing contemporary feminist strategies to transform the welfare state to meet women’s needs. Whilst the authors put forward their own evaluation of these different feminist approaches, they aim to leave readers with plenty of scope to make up their own minds on the issues.

Table of Contents


Part I: Feminists and the historical development of the Welfare State
1. Feminism and the Welfare State: the formative years
2. Women pioneers in welfare work

Part II: Contemporary feminism and the critique of welfare
3. Contemporary feminism
4. Education
5. Welfare professionals and the control of women
6. The material impact of welfare

Part III: Feminist strategies to change welfare
7. The economic position of women – alternative perspectives
8. Changing the welfare system from within
9. Separatist strategies for change
10. Conclusion