Recasting our Understanding of Gender and Work During Global Restructuring


Pyle, Jean L., and Kathryn B. Ward. 2003. “Recasting Our Understanding of Gender and Work During Global Restructuring.” International Sociology 18 (3): 461–89.

Authors: Jean L. Pyle, Kathryn B. Ward


The authors propose a broad analytic framework for understanding the relationships between globalization, gender and work. They argue that the way researchers, government officials and development practitioners think about globalization's effects on the gendered division of labor is the basis upon which to develop effective strategies to reduce gender inequalities. The authors outline the major trends of the recent period of globalization and their effects on the gendered division of labor, including more macro-effects of trade, production and finance on women's roles. They investigate micro-impacts through four growing gendered production networks: export production, sex work, domestic service and microfinance income generation. They also examine the role of governments and find that, to satisfy demands of international institutions and address some citizens' needs, many governments have been pushed into fostering these types of work. The authors argue that these gendered global production networks have grown substantially as a result of globalization processes and that there are systemic linkages between the global expansion of production, trade and finance and the increase of women in these networks. This broader understanding of the forces that shape women's lives is necessary to develop strategies that counter globalization's adverse impacts.

Keywords: Bangladesh, gender, globalization, microfinance, multinational corporation, sex work, work

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Globalization, Governance, Households, International Organizations, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods, Political Economies

Year: 2003

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