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Gender Equality/Inequality

Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us

Citation:

Floro, Maria Sagrario, and John Willoughby. 2016. "Feminist Economies and the Analysis of the Global Economy: The Challenge That Awaits Us." Fletcher Forum on World Affairs 40 (2): 15-27.

Authors: Maria Sagrario Floro, John Willoughby

Annotation:

“Over the past half-century, feminist economists have transformed our understanding of how the world economy functions. They have critiqued the gender-blindness of traditional economic models and challenged analytic descriptions of development and globalization that ignore much of women’s economic activity. Feminist economists have developed analytical frameworks for examining gender relations that permeate political, social, and economic institutions including markets, governments, households, and firms. They have produced new methodologies that incorporate women’s experiences in economic models, statistics, and the evaluation of economic phenomena. Their research has pushed the boundaries of knowledge by challenging conventional paradigms and concepts, ideas and categories that were engrained and therefore rarely scrutinized.

“The result has been the emergence of a new consensus. Well-documented studies have shown that the erosion of systems of patriarchy not only empowers women economically, but also has demonstrably positive impacts on alleviating poverty and promoting human development. These changes in our understanding of the development process have produced a new politics as well as new forms of economic development policy. Key international institutions, donor agencies, and governments have adopted gender-sensitive policies in their development programs as part of ‘gender mainstreaming,’ or the process of institutionalizing gender-sensitive analysis and policy in governments and organizations. Advocates have also used feminist knowledge of development to strengthen women’s groups raising gender issues in broader social and political movements. Knowledge of feminism allows for greater clarity of the vision of social change and has served as a guide for consciousness-raising, thus enabling feminist research to be transformative at the grassroots level. This dynamic interaction between feminist thinking and feminist activism has revealed tensions regarding the intersections of knowledge, power, and development outcomes. It has led to debates among feminist economists in terms of what needs to be done and how best to accomplish gender equality. These tensions and debates are necessary and vital in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and in deepening our understanding of development.

“Despite this headway, several important challenges remain. The progress we can document has been halting and uneven. Moreover, in certain key areas of economic policy-making, gender-sensitive economic policy is absent, and approaches used in gender mainstreaming to assess the differential effects of a policy on women and men can sometimes legitimize women’s subordinate roles. Rather than treating the promotion of human rights and women’s well-being as ends in themselves, their labor and productivity potential are viewed mainly as means to further increase economic growth. The important focus on long-run transformation of gender relations toward equality in the context of regional, national, and global economic processes is, more often than not, neglected, particularly when countries face economic crises. The very real setbacks women experience as a result of the gender-blind management of the economy during booms and downturns have long-term consequences. In this time of increasing economic disruptions, it will be important to systematically integrate the promotion of gender equality in the implementation of appropriate economic stabilization policies.

“First, we explore the link between dismantling systems of male dominance and our understanding of the development process, with a particular focus on what is required to achieve the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We then turn to interventions from key international organizations in order to illustrate the impact that feminist economics has had on development policymaking. We then argue that, despite some advancements, several missing elements in the development of economic policy still allow unequal gender relations to persist or create new forms of gender inequalities. We conclude with a discussion of the challenges that we still face in developing inclusive and sustainable economic policy that promotes equality and expanded cooperation to address urgent global issues.” (Floro & Willoughby 2016, 15-17)

 

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations

Year: 2016

A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda

Citation:

Abelenda, Ana Ines. 2014. "A Feminist Perspective on the Post-2015 Development Agenda." The Equal Rights Review 13: 117-28.

Author: Ana Ines Abelenda

Abstract:

World leaders and diverse development actors are currently embroiled in a series of negotiations around a new global development agenda to follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) once they expire in 2015. The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) has been heavily involved in seeking to shape the new agenda to ensure that it adequately addresses human rights, including women’s rights and gender equality. The negotiation process has been complex, frustrating at times for civil society and women’s rights advocates, yet a historical opportunity to re-shape global understandings of development in the struggle towards social, economic, ecological and gender justice. As the world navigates a context of multiple intersecting global crises coupled with increasing inequality and militarism, it becomes clear that business as usual is not an option. A paradigm shift is needed. This position paper presents a feminist analysis to help unpack what is at stake for people and the planet by pushing the envelope on the kind of world we want to live in. This approach is one which both AWID and  the author believe is key to systemic change. A mere look at the ‘shopping list’ of goals and targets currently on the negotiating table is not enough. Feminist and progressive social movements must not bypass the opportunity to challenge the systemic root causes in the current economic system that continue to undermine women’s autonomy and the achievement of human rights for all.

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarism, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2014

Building Inclusive Cities

Citation:

Whitzman, Carolyn, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath eds. 2013. Building Inclusive Cities. New York: Routledge. 

Authors: Carolyn Whitzman, Crystal Legacy, Caroline Andrew, Fran Klodawsky, Margaret Shaw, Kalpana Viswanath

Annotation:

Summary:
“Building on a growing movement within developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia–Pacific, as well as Europe and North America, this book documents cutting-edge practice and builds theory around a rights-based approach to women’s safety in the context of poverty reduction and social inclusion. Drawing upon two decades of research and grass-roots action on safer cities for women and everyone, this book is about the right to an inclusive city. The first part of the book describes the challenges that women face regarding access to essential services, housing security, liveability and mobility. The second part of the book critically examines programmes, projects and ideas that are working to make cities safer. Building Inclusive Cities takes a cross-cultural learning perspective from action research occurring throughout the world and translates this research into theoretical conceptualizations to inform the literature on planning and urban management in both developing and developed countries. This book is intended to inspire both thought and action” (Whitzman 2013, i).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Water & Sanitation

Year: 2013

The Role of Gender and Caste in Climate Adaptation Strategies in Nepal

Citation:

Onta, Nisha, and Bernadette P. Resurreccion. 2011. “The Role of Gender and Caste in Climate Adaptation Strategies in Nepal.” Mountain Research and Development 31 (4): 351–56.

Authors: Nisha Onta, Bernadette P. Resurreccion

Abstract:

Despite the growing number of studies and research projects on climate change adaptation, only a few have examined the gender and cultural dynamics of the adaptation process. Inequality has been identified as a major indicator of the vulnerability of individuals and groups; nevertheless, the gender and cultural aspects of inequality have not received much emphasis. The present article attempts to analyze the influence of gender and cultural relations on the process of climate change adaptation by presenting a study of Dalit and Lama households in the mountainous Humla District of Nepal. The inhabitants of Humla have been experiencing a shift in the monsoon season, a decrease in snowfall, and longer dry periods, with adverse effects on their livelihoods. The main focus of this article is to highlight the cultural, social, and economic dependency of the Lama and Dalit ethnic groups and to examine whether processes of adaptation exacerbate or alter gender inequalities and intercaste dependencies. (Abstract from original source)

Keywords: climate change, adaptation, gender, caste, Dalit, Humla, Nepal

Annotation:

Topics: Caste, Environment, Climate Change, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2011

Gender, Financial Deepening and the Production of Embodied Finance: Towards a Critical Feminist Analysis

Citation:

Roberts, Adrienne. 2015. “Gender, Financial Deepening and the Production of Embodied Finance: Towards a Critical Feminist Analysis.” Global Society 29 (1): 107–27.

Author: Adrienne Roberts

Abstract:

This article critically interrogates the ways in which gender equality has been linked to processes of financial deepening, partly via a global coalition of public and private institutions that have come together in recent years to promote an instrumentalist gender equality agenda. Corporations, banks and financial firms are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the contours of the global gender equality agenda and reproducing narratives regarding the need to (1) financially ‘empower’ women, (2) uphold women as the ‘saviors’ of national economies post-2008 and (3) ‘tap in’ to the productive (i.e. profitable) potential of women's bodily capacities. Drawing on Marxist and feminist theory, I develop an approach to theorizing the inherently embodied and gendered nature of finance that reveals the ways in which these tropes obscure the labour associated with social reproduction, promote the commodification of women's bodily capacities to produce, and support the differential production of bodies while simultaneously masking embodied forms of difference. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions, Multi-national Corporations, Privatization

Year: 2015

'Poor' Romanian Women Between the Policy (Politics) of IMF and Local Government

Citation:

Neaga D.E. 2012. "'Poor' Romanian Women Between the Policy (Politics) of IMF and Local Government." European Journal of Science and Theology 8 (1): 291-301.

Author: D.E. Neaga

Abstract:

There are a consistent number of studies showing that women are more vulnerable than men in terms of poverty and social exclusion. Romania is not an exception. Poverty and underdevelopment are major topics in the area of international political economy and, in the context of global economic crisis, international institutions like IMF and WB became more and more relevant. The main question to which I try to give an answer in this paper is: how the IMF policies/politics and those of the Romanian government challenged the issue of gender inequalities during the recent economic crisis? In order to do so I will concentrate my arguments in two major directions. First, I will underline the necessity of gender mainstreaming in international political economy and secondly I will analyze the neoliberal project and the Romanian case in terms of a deepening gender gap as a result of the agreement with IMF. (Abstract from original)

Keywords: neoliberalism, economic crisis, women, IMF, international political economy

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions Regions: Europe, Eastern Europe Countries: Romania

Year: 2012

Economic Restructuring, Gender and the Allocation of Time

Citation:

Floro, Maria Sagrario. 1995. "Economic Restructuring, Gender and the Allocation of Time." World Development 23 (11): 1913-1929.

Author: Maria Sagrario Floro

Abstract:

A significant aspect of economic life takes place in an area of production largely ignored in standard macroeconomic analysis, namely, the household production of nonmarketed goods and services. These household-produced goods and services are vital for social reproduction and human development. Moreover, there is a dynamic interaction between their production and that of the market economy as household members, especially women, must allocate their time between the two sets of economic activities. Section 2 provides some stylized facts about the nature and scope of nonmarket activities taking place within the household unit and how they relate to the market economy. Methodological issues concerning the measurement of the production of nonmarketed goods and services and of time-use patterns are discussed in section 3. Sections 4 and 5 examine the empirical evidence regarding the intensity of time devoted to nonmarket and market work by women, and the resulting consequences on their well-being as well as on the development of children. There are longterm serious economic and welfare consequences of these responses that make such a topic an urgent one for both academics and policy makers alike. A summary of the major points raised concludes the paper. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Economies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Privatization

Year: 1995

Gender in International Trade and Investment Policy

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2001. “Gender in International Trade and Investment Policy.” In Financing for Development: Proposals from Business and Civil Society, edited by Barry Herman, Federica Pietracci and Krishnan Sharma, 63-70. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“Of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less then US$2 a day, and 1.2 billion on less than a US$1 a day (World Bank, 2000). Most of these people are women, who today constitute the backbone of the unpaid, and a growing pool of the paid workforce that is directly affected by trade liberalization and foreign direct investment, as in export processing zones, agri-business and services. Women are also over-represented in the informal economy, sex tourism/trafficking, poverty and destitution. Women are the major cushion for domestic structural adjustment, as has been well documented in numerous case studies of structural adjustment programmes (see, for example, Afshar and Dennis, 1992; Brown, 1995; and Sparr, 1995). Thus, there are important reasons for integrating a gender perspective into the themes of financing for development, especially foreign direct investment, other private capital flows and trade. We see these as inextricably intertwined with the topics of debt and systemic reform. (Williams, 2001, p.63)”

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2001

Climate Finance: Why Does It Matter for Women?

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2017. “Climate Finance: Why Does It Matter for Women?” In Financing for Gender Equality: Realising Women’s Rights through Gender Responsive Budgeting, edited by Zohra Khan and Nalini Burn, 273-311. Medford, MA: Springer Publishing Company, Inc.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“Ultimately, climate goals, priorities and the concomitant actions that are implemented to address the growing climate challenges concern the well-being, livelihood and lives of all citizens—women, men and children, across different socio-economic classes and life cycles. The preamble of Paris Agreement paragraph 7 exhorts Parties to the agreement, ‘when taking action to address climate change (to) respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity’ (Williams, 2017, p. 276)."

Topics: Civil Society, Class, Development, Economic Inequality, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2017

Gender Mainstreaming in the Multilateral Trading System

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2003. Gender Mainstreaming in the Multilateral Trading System. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“This reference manual is intended to serve as an information and training tool for policy-makers and inter-governmental and civil society organisations interested in building and enhancing their knowledge of the important linkages between trade and investment policy and gender equality objectives and priorities. It also presents recommendations on the key issues as well as the identification of strategies that could be utilised by different stakeholders (Williams, 2003, p. xv)."
 
Summary:
"The social dimension of trade policy and trade liberalization is now a common topic in many official trade fora. This discussion is proceeding with little or no attention to the different needs, constraints and interests of women. This handbook provides an integrated framework for a sustainable, propoor and gendersensitive approach to trade policymaking. It is an information and training tool for policymakers and intergovernmental and civil society organisations interested in building and enhancing their knowledge of the important linkages between trade and investment policy and gender equality objectives and priorities. It also presents recommendations on the key issues as well as the identification of strategies that could be utilized by different stakeholders. Each section includes case studies from Commonwealth countries." (Summary from Google Books)

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2003

Pages

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