Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability: A Prologue to a Theory of Global Gender Justice


Jaggar, Alison M. 2009. “Transnational Cycles of Gendered Vulnerability: A Prologue to a Theory of Global Gender Justice.” Philosophical Topics 37 (2): 33-52.

Author: Alison M. Jaggar


Across the world, the lives of men and women who are otherwise similarly situated tend to differ from each other systematically. Although gender disparities vary widely within and among regions, women everywhere are disproportionately vulnerable to povery, abuse, and political marginalization. This article proposes that global gender disparities are caused by a network of norms, practices, policies, and institutions that include transnational as well as national elements. These interlaced and interacting factors frequently modify and sometimes even reduce gendered vulnerabilities but their overall effect is to maintain and often intensify them. Women's vulnerabilities in different areas of life mutually reinforce each other and I follow other authores in referring to such casual feedback loops as cycles of gendered vulnerability. I argue taht these cycles now operate on a transnational as well as national scale and I illustrate this by discussing the examples of domestic work and sex work. If global institutional arrangements do indeed contribute to maintaining or intensifying distinctively gendered vulnerabilities, these arrangements deserve critical scrutiny from philosophers concerned with global justice.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Livelihoods, Sexual Livelihoods

Year: 2009

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