Beyond Women Workers: Gendering CSR


Pearson, Ruth. 2007. “Beyond Women Workers: Gendering CSR.” Third World Quarterly 28 (4): 731–49. doi:10.2307/20454959.

Author: Ruth Pearson


Though there is now a great deal of attention to the question of women workers and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), a more far reaching analysis, which is informed by feminist economics approaches, stresses the importance of the gendered nature of the institutional context in which value chains operate, and the importance of acknowledging that labour markets are themselves gendered institutions which reflect socially constructed divisions of labour. This paper explores what a more holistic approach to corporate social responsibility might mean, especially when explored through the lens of gender analysis. I use the concept of social reproduction to examine the kinds of issues a gendered approach to CSR might embrace, with particular attention to the "social", in terms of the reproduction of the labour power used in production. I apply this scrutiny to the emblematic example of the current spate of murders of young women in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, the location of thousands of manufacturing assembly plants producing for export to the United States. The paper concludes with some suggestions of initiatives which might be developed to incorporate a gendered dimension into a more comprehensive notion of CSR.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Discourses, Gendered Power Relations, Multi-National Corporations

Year: 2007

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