Reproduktivt arbejde er et begreb fra marxistisk feminisme for alt det ulønnede arbejde, især udført af kvinder i hjemmets sfære, som understøtter og vedligeholder lønarbejdet, og som sidstnævnte ikke kunne være produktivt foruden. Eksempler kan være: rengøring, børnepasning, madlavning, familieplanlægning, omsorgsarbejde m.m.
In the capitalist system, two types of labor exist, a division stressed by Marxist feminists like Margaret Benston and Peggy Morton. The first is productive, in which the labor results in goods or services that have monetary value in the capitalist system and are thus compensated by the producers in the form of a paid wage. The second form of labor is reproductive, which is associated with the private sphere and involves anything that people have to do for themselves that is not for the purposes of receiving a wage (i.e. cleaning, cooking, having children). Both forms of labor are necessary, but people have different access to these forms of labor based on certain aspects of their identity. Women are assigned to the domestic sphere where the labor is reproductive and thus uncompensated and unrecognized in a capitalist system. It is in the best interest of both public and private institutions to exploit the labor of women as an inexpensive method of supporting a work force. For the producers, this means higher profits. For the nuclear family, the power dynamic dictates that domestic work is exclusively to be completed by the woman of the household thus liberating the rest of the members from their own necessary reproductive labor. Marxist feminists argue that the exclusion of women from productive labor leads to male control in both private and public domains.
In 1972, a year after this programme was broadcast, a key work by Selma James, 'Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community', was published. In this, she expands on the ideas put forward in the programme and argues that the entire labour market is built upon the unpaid work of women. Also in 1972, James set up the International Wages for Housework Campaign, which argues that running the home should be recognised as work in official statistics and that people doing this labour should be paid a wage by the government.
- Familjens projektledare säger upp sig af Gunilla Bergensten. Månpocket, 2008. Debatbog (svensk).
- Bitterfissen af Maria Sveland. Modtryk, 2. udg, 2009. Skønlitteratær roman (svensk)
- The Arcane of Reproduction af Leopoldina Fortunati. Teoretisk værk (engelsk)
- Wages Against Housework af Silvia Federici. Falling Wall Press Ltd, 1975. Pamflet (engelsk)
- People for tomorrow, dokumentar om husarbejde fra 1971 af en af initiativtagerne til kampagnen Wages for Housework, den amerikanske feminist Selma James.
- Familjens projektledare säger upp sig, Gunilla Bergensten, 2008.
- Hartmann, H. (1981) The Unhappy Marriage of Marxism and Feminism: Towards a More Progressive Union. Feminist Theory Reader, 187-199.