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Economic Inequality

Gender, Taxation, and Equality in Developing Countries


Lahey, Kathleen. 2018. “Gender, Taxation, and Equality in Developing Countries.” Discussion Paper, UN Women, New York. 

Author: Kathleen Lahey


“Attention to the gender impact of tax laws has been accelerated by key trends in public finance policy frameworks. Beginning in 2005, the OECD and other international organizations began to recommend that countries at all levels of development focus on tax and spending cuts to stimulate economic growth. In the aftermath of the 2007/2008 global financial crisis, although many countries responded to the crisis by expanding selected spending measures to offset the recessionary effects of the crisis, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) began in 2010 to turn the focus back to fiscal consolidation through tax and spending cuts to promote economic recovery. Since then, the majority of countries at all levels of development began to replace crisis policies with fiscal austerity programmes to cut spending on public resources and shift revenue production from progressive tax structures to regressive consumption taxes and privatization of public assets and services. 
“During this past decade, income inequalities have increased gaps between rich and poor due to lower levels of taxation on high incomes, increased business and individual use of transnational tax reductions and tax havens, over-reliance on short term extractive revenues and tax incentives to the corporate sector, and falling levels of public support for key drivers of economic development such as health, education, transportation, and income security spending. 
“All of these changes have drawn increased attention to the gender impact of tax and budgetary policies as it became clear even at the outset of the 2007/8 crisis that cuts to public spending, privatization of income support, health, and educational programmes, and the growing concentration of income and capital in the hands of the wealthy all increase after-tax income inequalities that are particularly damaging to those with low incomes and limited economic resources. Women are over-represented in both categories in every country, as are both men and women living in low- and medium-income countries. 
“This discussion paper examines the gender effects of taxation and related fiscal policies within a framework integrating three critical perspectives: the realities of women’s continuing economic, social, legal, and political inequalities; new global commitments to end poverty and all forms of sex discrimination; and the possibilities for shifting tax policy priorities from the present emphasis on taxing for economic growth to prioritize taxing for equality -- including taxing for gender equality, women’s empowerment, and eco- nomic security over the life course. 
“Within this framework, the gender effects of the main types of taxes used in domestic tax systems are discussed along with promising alternative tax policies to promote gender equality. This discussion paper addresses both core elements of the knowledge agenda for gender-equal fiscal policy with particular focus on developing and emerging countries, and the full range of gender effects and gender equal policy options for all aspects of personal, corporate, and consumption tax laws at the domestic and global levels” (Lahey 2018, 1).
Table of Contents:
1. Taxing for Gender Equality: Economic Realities and Human Rights Norms
2. Gender Issues in Personal Income Taxation
3. Corporate Income Taxation and Gender Issues
4. Impact of the VAT on Gender Equality and Ability to Pay
5. Conclusion and Recommendations

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Public Finance, Gender, Women, International Organizations

Year: 2018

Women, Substantive Equality, and Fiscal Policy: Gender-Based Analysis of Taxes, Benefits, and Budgets


Lahey, Kathleen A. 2010. “Women, Substantive Equality, and Fiscal Policy: Gender-Based Analysis of Taxes, Benefits, and Budgets.” Canadian Journal of Women and the Law 22 (1): 27-106.


Author: Kathleen Lahey


One of the most pronounced socio-legal characteristics of women is their persistent economic inequality throughout life, when compared with men. Despite decades of agitation for fairness in taxation, state benefit programs, and government budgetary allocations,fiscal policies continue to do little to promote women's equality and, in some countries, are undermining it. This article demonstrates that even in countries such as Canada, which is perceived to be a world leader in sex equality, fiscal inequality can quickly undercut women’s gain unless clear institutional mechanisms ensure that all programs and practices are continually monitored for their gender-specific impact on women. This article outlines how gender mainstreaming,gender-based analysis, and gender budgeting-which were all called for by Canada's ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1982 and the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action into federal policy in 1995-offer a "broad third path to equality" that can be used to identify and eliminate discrimination against women, including in the crucial areas of taxation, expenditures, and government budgets. 
L’une des caracte´ristiques socio-juridiques les plus marque´es chez les femmes demeure leur ine´galite´ e´conomique par rapport aux hommes, et ce, durant toute leur vie. En de´pit de de´cennies de pressions sociales pour obtenir l’e´quite´ dans l’imposition, dans les programmes d’avantages sociaux e´tatiques et les allocations budge´taires gouvernementales, les politiques fiscales continuent de faire tre`s peu de choses en vue de promouvoir l’e´galite´ des femmes et dans certains pays, elles empeˆchent l’atteinte de l’objectif vise´. Le pre´sent article de´montre que, meˆme dans des pays comme le Canada, qui est perc¸u comme e´tant un chef de file mondial en matie`re d’e´galite´ des genres, les ine´galite´s fiscales peuvent rapidement re´duire a` ne´ant les acquis des femmes, a` moins que des me´canismes institutionnels clairs n’assurent que tous les programmes et toutes les pratiques soient continuellement controˆle´s pour mesurer leur impact sur les femmes en particulier. Le pre´sent article expose les grandes lignes de l’inte´gration a` tous les stades de l’analyse fonde´e sur les rapports de sexe et de l’e´tablissement de budgets en fonction des sexes—mesures ne´cessaires suivant la ratification par le Canada en 1982 de la Convention sur l’e´limination de toutes les formes de discrimination a` l’e´gard des femmes et de la mise en oeuvre de la De´claration et du Programme d’Action de Beijing dans les politiques fe´de´rales en 1995—et de´montre comment ces analyses offrent une «large troisie`me voie vers l’e´galite´» et peuvent servir a` identifier et a` e´liminer la discrimination a` l’e´gard des femmes, y compris dans les domaines critiques de l’imposition, des de´penses et des budgets gouvernementaux.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Public Finance, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2010

The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Renewables: The WSSD, Energy and Women, a Malevolent Perspective


Annecke, Wendy. 2002. “The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Renewables: The WSSD, Energy and Women, a Malevolent Perspective.” Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity 17 (52): 8–16.

Author: Wendy Annecke


"In the last say, three months, how many times have you, Bought groceries, toys, books, face cream or organic produce? Been in a car? Flown in an aeroplane? Used a washing machine? Switched on a light, computer, or cooked a meal?

And how many times have you thought about the energy component of each activity? Probably very few - because although energy is an integral part of almost every item and aspect of daily life, it is generally invisible. But it is important, sufficiently so to be one of the major themes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg in August 2002. Now I am one of those critics who believe that 'sustainable development' is an oxymoron - you know, like 'military intelligence', or 'a kindly rapist' - a contradictory term which may, on occasion, be used to good effect, but under present global conditions makes only for a lie. A lie which has become plausible, and is hard to undo. I feel the same way about the terms 'developed countries' and the 'free market' and will say a little more about the latter later Many of the powerful people in the energy sector, in which I work, contribute to this lie by engaging enthusiastically with the notion of 'energy for sustainable development' to provide poor people with modern energy, while not displaying nearly so much enthusiasm for changing the numerous unsustainable practices which affect disproportional access to resources.

Ease of access to energy is one of the significant markers of difference - difference between rich and poor, men and women. Some people have meals cooked for them, others flick a switch to cook a meal, and the rest light a fire or do without.The challenges presented to the WSSD by these differences are two-fold. On the one hand the concern is how to provide, by 2015, accessible energy services to half of the two-and-a-half-billion people without modern energy sources - and poor women constitute the bulk of this group. On the other hand, the concern is how to limit the damage caused by the intense energy consumption of those who use too much - and guess who constitutes the bulk of this group?" (Annecke 2002, 8).

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Infrastructure, Energy

Year: 2002

Transforming Gender Relations in Nepal’s Trail Bridge Programme: Policies and Practice


Sherpa, Mona, Ansu Tumbahangfe, Niraj Acharya, Devendra Chhetry, Indu Tuladhar, and Jane Carter. 2020. “Transforming Gender Relations in Nepal’s Trail Bridge Programme: Policies and Practice.” Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Transport 173 (2): 107–21.

Authors: Mona Sherpa, Ansu Tumbahangfe, Niraj Acharya, Devendra Chhetry, Indu Tuladhar, Jane Carter


This paper considers the extent to which the full and equal rights guaranteed in Nepal’s constitution are reflected in the government’s trail bridge programme (TBP). A review of the legal provisions and relevant literature was used to inform interviews and field enquiries at nine short-span trail bridges and one long-span bridge. The analysis indicates that the TBP is broadly gender responsive in its policies, but often falls short at field level. Analysis of the findings of the study was guided by five drivers of change for women’s economic empowerment identified by the 2016 United Nations High-Level Panel. It considered the degree to which the TBP tackles adverse gender norms and promotes positive role models; addresses unpaid care work; promotes women’s assets, representation and leadership; and contributes to a revision of gender-discriminatory laws. The paper concludes with five key suggestions for rendering the TBP more gender transformative: to address the time constraints imposed on women by unpaid care work; to ensure better facilitation of social processes; to strengthen women’s leadership; to maximise women’s income from wage labour through avoiding debt, turning it into assets and undertaking skills training; to incorporate inclusive community planning and construction of long-span bridges.

Keywords: bridges, public policy, transport management

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminist Economics, Gender, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2020

Engendering Cities: Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for All


Sánchez de Madariaga, Inés, and Michael Neuman, eds. 2020. Engendering Cities: Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for All. New York: Routledge.

Authors: Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, Michael Neuman


Engendering Cities examines the contemporary research, policy, and practice of designing for gender in urban spaces. Gender matters in city design, yet despite legislative mandates across the globe to provide equal access to services for men and women alike, these issues are still often overlooked or inadequately addressed. This book looks at critical aspects of contemporary cities regarding gender, including topics such as transport, housing, public health, education, caring, infrastructure, as well as issues which are rarely addressed in planning, design, and policy, such as the importance of toilets for education and clothes washers for freeing-up time. In the first section, a number of chapters in the book assess past, current, and projected conditions in cities vis-à-vis gender issues and needs. In the second section, the book assesses existing policy, planning, and design efforts to improve women’s and men’s concerns in urban living. Finally, the book proposes changes to existing policies and practices in urban planning and design, including its thinking (theory) and norms (ethics).
The book applies the current scholarship on theory and practice related to gender in a planning context, elaborating on some critical community-focused reflections on gender and design. It will be key reading for scholars and students of planning, architecture, design, gender studies, sociology, anthropology, geography, and political science. It will also be of interest to practitioners and policy makers, providing discussion of emerging topics in the field. (Summary from Routledge)

Table of Contents:
1.Planning the Gendered City
Inés Sánchez de Madariaga and Michael Neuman

2.A Gendered View of Mobility and Transport: Next Steps and Future Directions
Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris

3.Gendered Mobility Patterns of Carers in Austria
Bente Knoll and Teresa Schwaninge

4.Violence Against Women in Moving Transportation in Indian Cities: Reconceptualising Gendered Transport Policy
Yamini Narayanan

5.Planning Mobility in Portugal with a Gender Perspective
Margarida Queirós and Nuno Marques da Costa

6.Implementation of Gender and Diversity Perspectives in Transport Development Plans in Germany
Elena von den Driesch, Linda Steuer, Tobias Berg, and Carmen Leicht-Scholten

7.Why Low-Income Women in the U.S. Need Automobiles
Evelyn Blumenberg

8.Public Toilets: The Missing Component in Designing Sustainable Urban Spaces for Women
Clara Greed

9.Are Safe Cities Just Cities? A Perspective from France
Lucile Biarrotte and Claire Hancock

10.Everyday Life Experiences of Afghan Immigrant Women as Representation of their Place of Belonging in Auckland
Roja Tafaroji

11.Gender Mainstreaming in the Regional Discourse over the Future of the Ruhr Metropolitan Area: Implementation of Gender Mainstreaming in Planning Processes
Jeanette Sebrantke, Mechtild Stiewe, Sibylle Kelp-Siekmann, and Gudrun Kemmler-Lehr

12.An Analysis of EU Urban Policy from the Perspective of Gender
Sonia De Gregorio Hurtado

13.Gender Mainstreaming Urban Planning and Design Processes in Greece
Charis Christodoulou

14.Gendering the Design of Cities in Aotearoa New Zealand: Are We There Yet?
Dory Reeves, Julie Fairey, Jade Kake, Emma McInnes, and Eva Zombori

15.Gender Impact Assessments, a Tool for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda: The Case of Madrid Nuevo Norte
Ines Novella Abril

16.Gender and the Urban in the 21st Century: Paving Way to ‘Another’ Gender Mainstreaming
Camilla Perrone

17.Epilogue: Unifying Difference and Equality Concepts to Buttress Policy
Inés Sánchez de Madariaga

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Urban Displacement, Development, Economies, Care Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, Health, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Water & Sanitation Regions: Americas, North America, Asia, South Asia, Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe, Western Europe, Oceania Countries: Austria, Germany, Greece, India, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, United States of America

Year: 2020

The Gendered Political Economy of Southeast Asian Development


Elias, Juanita. 2020. “The Gendered Political Economy of Southeast Asian Development.” In The Political Economy of Southeast Asia, edited by Toby Carroll, Shahar Hameiri, and Lee Jones, 227-48. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Author: Juanita Elias


This chapter considers what it means to focus on gender in analysing the political economy of Southeast Asian development. Drawing on examples from across the region, it uncovers the role that women in Southeast Asia play in both economic production and social reproduction. It shows that development planning is rooted in assumptions about the availability of a reserve army of low-cost female labour, with implications of widening gender pay gaps and inequalities. State planning has also been starkly non- or even anti-welfarist, placing burdens on female family members to undertake the work of care, which are exacerbated during times of economic downturn and crisis. Gender inequality has therefore played a central role in Southeast Asia’s development.

Keywords: gender, development, Southeast Asia, Industrialisation, social reproduction, welfare

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia

Year: 2020

ECOWAS and Free Movement of Persons: African Women as Cross-Border Victims


Aduloju, Ayodeji Anthony. 2017. "ECOWAS and Free Movement of Persons: African Women as Cross-Border Victims." Journal of International Women's Studies 18 (4): 89-105.

Author: Ayodeji Anthony Aduloju


Existing literature has investigated the challenges of interstate border dispute, border conflict and their security and developmental implications for the West African sub-region. ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol of Persons was instituted to enhance economic development of West Africa’s citizens. However, studies have shown that the protocol has relatively aided transborder trafficking in persons, drugs, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). However, vulnerability of trans-border women traders in the sub-region have received little attention. This study utilized both primary and secondary sources of data gathering in order to interrogate the provisions of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons vis-à-vis its operationalization and incapacity to increase women’s economic opportunity and empowerment in West Africa. Through field survey, twenty (20) interviews were conducted at the Nigeria-Benin border. The interviews targeted 14 purposively selected women traders at the border, two officials each of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigeria Police Force. Moreover, observation method was employed to substantiate the interviews conducted. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Consequently, this study discovered that women constituted more of trans-border traders on Nigeria-Benin border, and precisely in West Africa. In addition, they are vulnerable to extortion, intimidation and sexual harassment by border officials, which has impinged on their rights contained in the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The study showed that the protocol does not fully protect women (mostly the ones with low economic characteristics who constitute larger population of women at the border) and thereby having implications for their livelihood and survival. The study then concluded that while the problem faced by women on the Nigeria-Benin border persists, it has a huge impact on the credibility of ECOWAS to properly integrate the sub-region for development and for the benefit of its significant population of women.

Keywords: ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol, gender, Trans-Border Women Traders, West Africa, sub-regional integration

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Trafficking, Arms Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Benin, Nigeria

Year: 2017

The Political Economy of Post-conflict Violence against Women


True, Jacqui. 2018. "The Political Economy of Post-conflict Violence against Women." In Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender, edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts, 184-195. London: Edward Elgar Publishing. 

Author: Jacqui True


Eliminating violence against women and girls globally is one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. Transformations in the political economy of gender relations, including the increasing mobilisation of women’s labour beyond the household in the public sphere and the globalisation of women’s activism, have contributed to the breaking of silence on the problem of violence against women and girls. This chapter examines the opportunity to remake political and economic institutions to redress injustices and inequalities that contribute to various forms of violence against women and girls. Contrary to hunches about post-conflict bringing a social rupture in gender roles, post-conflict transitions often heighten gender inequality in power and economic power and exacerbate sexual and gender-based violence. The chapter shows how a feminist political economy method analyses the gendered economic inequalities underlying political inequalities and applies this analysis to explain the continuum of gendered violence in transitions from conflict to peace.

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Feminisms, Feminist Political Economy, Gender, Women, Girls, Gender Roles, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2018

Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: Trends and Analysis


Dey, Joyashri and Subhabrata Dutta. 2014. “Gender Responsive Budgeting in India: Trends and Analysis.” International Journal of Social Science 3 (4): 495-509.

Authors: Joyashri Day, Subhabrata Dutta


The Budget is an important tool in the hands of state for affirmative action for improvement of gender relations through reduction of gender gap in the development process. It can help to reduce economic inequalities, between men and women as well as between the rich and the poor. Budget impacts women’s lives in several ways. It directly promotes women’s development through allocation of budgetary funds for women’s programmes and reduces opportunities for empowerment of women through budgetary cuts. Gender budget doesn’t mean a separate budget for women rather gender budget is an attempt to assess government priorities as they are reflected through the budget and examine how they impact women and men and within that, certain groups of women and men. Gender Budget doesn’t look at whether or not the same is spent on men and women but rather at what the impact of the spending is on men and women and whether or not budgets respond to the needs of both women and men adequately. Thus, Government of India has undertaken Gender budgeting initiatives contribute to ‘gender mainstreaming’ by focusing on the gender dimensions of government budgets.

Keywords: gender based violence, women empowerment, Government Programmes, gender budget

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Gender Budgeting, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2014

El Salvador - A Peace Worse than War: Violence, Gender, and a Failed Legal Response


Musalo, Karen. 2018. "El Salvador - A Peace Worse than War: Violence, Gender, and a Failed Legal Response." Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 30 (3): 3-97. 

Author: Karen Musalo


After twelve years of violent conflict, the bloody civil war in El Salvador came to an end in January 1992 with the signing of peace agreements and, ultimately, comprehensive Peace Accords. During the conflict between the Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberaci6n Nacional (FMLN) [Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front] and the government, at least seventy-five thousand people were killed, seven thousand were "disappeared," and five hundred thousand were displaced. The great majority of these abuses were committed by the Salvadoran government, which received more than $5 billion in assistance from the United States.


"This article explores explanations for the high levels of violence, including gender violence and femicides, in El Salvador. It examines how the conditions that preceded, accompanied, and have followed the civil war may explain the violence that has engulfed contemporary El Salvador. Within that context, this article focuses particularly on violence against women; it looks at the response to gendered violence in the forms of laws and governmental institutions and evaluates their impact - if any - in reducing the multiple types of violence against women, including gender-motivated killings. The article draws not only on an extensive review of the literature analyzing the situation in El Salvador prior to and following the armed conflict, but also on information gathered from in-depth interviews of Salvadoran experts. 25 Given the dearth and unreliability of published information regarding violence against women in El Salvador, discussed infra, the insights and analyses from in-country experts are essential to presenting a fuller picture of the reality. Part I provides an overview of the historical context relevant to the current situation in El Salvador, looking principally at significant events in the twentieth century. It examines how a confluence of factors - including structural violence, economic inequalities, social exclusion, the proliferation of gangs and organized crime, and a culture of patriarchy dating from the Spanish Conquest - have given rise to contemporary levels of violence, including gender-based violence. Part II presents information on the societal levels of violence, including violence against women and girls, drawing connections between historical and socio-political factors and the contemporary explosion of violence. Part III discusses the legal framework addressing violence against women that has been under development in El Salvador since 1996. It details the inadequacy of the laws, as well as the significant barriers to implementation arising from deeply entrenched institutional resistance to gender equality, which has led to, among other problems, insufficient funding for the laws' implementation and virtual impunity for the failure of governmental officials to carry out their responsibilities under the laws. An objective and key contribution of this article is to substantiate the links between the historical origins of violence and the magnitude of gender violence in El Salvador today. Finally, the Conclusion offers some overarching observations and recommendations drawn from the many Salvadoran activists who have committed themselves to a long struggle to achieve justice and equality for women" (Musalo 2018, 7-8).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Justice, Impunity, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: El Salvador

Year: 2018


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