Sustainable Strategies PHO730

Includes: Statement of Intent, Invisible Documentary and Work Portfolio.

Statement of Intent

My intention for the module Sustainable Strategies is to show the hidden work that most women do. Gender inequalities, stereotypes and power imbalances result in women and girls being seen as ‘caregivers’ and are relied upon for unpaid and domestic work from a young age. Women often relinquish their careers to raise children and look after the home receiving no income for doing so. My own experience of doing this exact thing left me with no money or home when my marriage ended. I also had 3 children to care for and my ex-husband would not leave the home we had bought and viewed his work as more important, so I was the primary caregiver. Leaving me to approach charities (who couldn’t help because the mortgage meant we had assets). It was only due to a mistake by child tax credits that I had some money to provide 3 months deposit on a rental to get us out of there. It has taken me over 10 years to build a business and find a secure home whilst ensuring the wellbeing of my children and providing for them. The shame and embarrassment I felt during that time stays in my memory. Had I felt I could open up and ask for help or if I knew others who had experienced the same, I may have been in a better financial situation. It was a huge struggle and incredibly stressful. 

Many women are in the same situation, I am often contacted as people gravitate towards me as they know I am divorced with children. The narrative is always very similar, women are expected to carry the load whilst the father of their children can continue their working careers and lives with little disruption or expected contribution. The load is heavy for anyone who does this. Balancing everything is almost impossible but feeling solely responsible requires you to do so.

It is an undervalued work that contributes to society on a large scale. It makes me feel frustrated, disappointed in the system and angry towards those in power. I want to focus on the home in this module, the monotony and repetition will reflect how mentally strong a person needs to be to keep it all together for their children. 

Invisible – a documentary by Victoria Macken (nee La Bouchardiere)

Work in progress Portfolio