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International Organizations

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

Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millennium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals

Citation:

Carant, Jane Briant. 2017. "Unheard Voices: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Millinnium Development Goals' Evolution into the Sustainable Development Goals." Third World Quarterly 38 (1): 16-41.

Author: Jane Briant Carant

Abstract:

The United Nations’ 2001 Millennium Development Goals and 2015 Sustainable Development Goals are of major importance for worldwide development. This article explores the construction of poverty and development within and across these documents, specifically focusing on the influence of dominant economic discourses – Keynesianism and neoliberalism – in the development paradigm. It assesses the failures of the Millennium Development Goals, as articulated by oppositional liberal feminists and World Social Forum critics, who embody competing values, representations and problem-solution frames that challenge and resist the dominant economic discourses. Finally, it evaluates responsiveness of the UN in the constitution of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, World Social Forum, Liberal Feminism, neoliberalism, Keynesianism

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, International Organizations

Year: 2017

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

The Asian Crisis, Gender, and the International Financial Architecture

Citation:

Aslanbeigui, Nahid, and Gale Summerfield. 2000. "The Asian Crisis, Gender, and the International Financial Architecture." Feminist Economics 6 (3): 81-103.

Authors: Nahid Aslanbeigui, Gale Summerfield

Abstract:

This paper begins with an account of the Asian crisis, its creation and management by international financial institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank), and the gender impact of their stabilization and structural adjustment programs. Next we consider the new debate on reforming the IMF and the World Bank and restructuring the international financial architecture to prevent crises and manage them more effectively. Finally, we consider the gender ramifications of these changes. Since feminists have been absent from this debate, we examine issues essential to the formation of a gender-conscious international financial structure. (Abstract from original). 

Keywords: international financial architecture, international financial institutions, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, structural adjustment, Asian Crisis, Debt Crisis, gender impact of the Asian Crisis

Topics: Globalization, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations Regions: Asia

Year: 2000

Gender and Trade: Impacts and Implications for Financial Resources for Gender Equality

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2008. Gender and Trade: Impacts and Implications for Financial Resources for Gender Equality. London: Commonwealth Secretariat.

Author: Mariama Williams

Annotation:

“Financing gender equality in the context of development and democracy requires specific and focused attention to allocating budgetary resources for the education, health care, training, skills and entrepreneurial development that is necessary to improve the lives of girls and women and to promote the overall economic empowerment of women. In order for this to occur in a predictable and sustainable manner, there must be a strategic rethinking of frameworks of fiscal policy, public finance, debt sustainability, monetary policy, exchange rate management, financial market regulation, trade reform and the negotiation of trade agreements. Increasingly, these areas are no longer the sole preserve of domestic policy makers but are becoming interlinked with the operations of the broader multilateral trading system (MTS), global finance and global macroeconomic arrangements through formal processes of coherence between trade and financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO). This is also true of the harmonisation of aid under the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (Williams, 2007, p. 3)."

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Education, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations

Year: 2008

Gender, the Doha Development Agenda, and the Post-Cancun Trade Negotiations

Citation:

Williams, Mariama. 2004. “Gender, the Doha Development Agenda, and the Post-Cancun Trade Negotiations.” Gender & Development 12 (2): 73-81.

Author: Mariama Williams

Abstract:

The intensification of trade liberalisation has increasingly led women's organisations and other civil society groups to pay close attention to the impact of trade liberalisation on economic and social development. At the last Ministerial meeting of the WTO in Cancun, gender and trade advocates developed empirical and policy-oriented positions on the WTO trade agenda. Though critical of the previous Doha Development Agenda (DDA) of 2001, the groups are concerned that even its minimal pro-development stance might be reduced in the post-Cancun period leading up to the next meeting in Hong Kong. This would be detrimental to economic development and to the well-being of men and women in the South.(Abstract from original)

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Development, Economies, Gender, International Organizations, Multi-national Corporations

Year: 2004

Women’s Rights in Climate Change: Using Video as a Tool for Empowerment in Nepal

Citation:

Khamis, Marion, Tamara Plush, and Carmen Sepúlveda Zelaya. 2009. “Women’s Rights in Climate Change: Using Video as a Tool for Empowerment in Nepal.” Gender and Development 17 (1): 125–35.

Authors: Marion Khamis, Tamara Plush, Carmen Sepúlveda Zelaya

Abstract:

An innovative Action Aid-supplied project in Nepal has seen women's empowerment make rapid progress through the use of video discussions about climate change. In this exploration of the project, we ask what we can learn from the use of such technology, and consider the implications for international development agencies and their efforts to support women's rights.

Keywords: women's rights, gender, climate change, power, women and environment, Nepal, adaptation, video

Topics: Development, Environment, Climate Change, International Organizations, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2009

Adapting to Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis of National Adaptation Programmes of Action Towards Women

Citation:

Anagnostou, Sotiria. 2015. “Adapting to Climate Change: A Sensitivity Analysis of National Adaptation Programmes of Action Towards Women.” PhD diss., Arizona State University.

Author: Sotiria Anagnostou

Abstract:

The most recent decision of the 2012 Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognizes that in order to create climate policies that respond to the different needs of men and women a more balanced representation of women from developed and developing countries is needed. National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to “identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to respond to impending threats from climate change.” Since 1997, the United Nations has agreed to gender mainstreaming- a globally accepted strategy for promoting gender equality by ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities in the all UN systems. Due to the gender division of labor climate change will affect men and women differently. Policies and programs that do not take into account the needs and capacities of both men and women will fail to be effective and may worsen preexisting conditions that historically favor men. My research investigates the UN’s commitment towards gender mainstreaming. More specifically my objective is to understand how and to what extent the NAPAs from 49 countries integrate a gender dimension into their national climate adaptation policy. For the purpose of this research, I consider three interrelated issues: whether gender-specific needs and vulnerabilities were identified by the NAPA; if these needs and vulnerabilities were addressed by proposed adaptation projects; and in what forms women participated in the formulation of the NAPA. The scope of this research begins with an overview assessment of 49 NAPAs followed by a comparative assessment of NAPAs from four countries- Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Niger, and an in-depth analysis of Nepal’s NAPA, which incorporates field study. Nepal was chosen as a focus country due to its identification as being both inclusive and gender sensitive. The method of inquiry consists of both quantitative and qualitative analysis, utilizing the quantitative measures of HDI and GII and the qualitative methods of content analysis and case study. The findings suggest that the response to the gender dimensions of climate change found in adaptation policies vary widely among the LDCs and the level of response is dependent upon social, cultural, economic, and political contexts within each LDC. Additionally, I find that gender mainstreaming techniques have not been fully integrated into the NAPA policy and processes, and have not been effective at promoting gender equality through adaptation strategies. Recommendations are provided in order to help mainstream gender in NAPAs as they continue to be developed, revised, and implemented.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations, NGOs Regions: Africa, West Africa, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Niger

Year: 2015

Building Gendered Approaches to Adaptation in the Pacific

Citation:

Lane, Ruth, and Rebecca McNaught. 2009. “Building Gendered Approaches to Adaptation in the Pacific.” Gender & Development 17 (1): 67–80. doi:10.1080/13552070802696920.

Authors: Ruth Lane, Rebecca McNaught

Abstract:

This article reflects upon how gendered approaches to climate-change adaptation can be strengthened in the Pacific region. The article looks at what has been learnt in the region, surveys some examples of best practice in gender-responsive programming, identifies the challenges we face on our journey, and suggests future directions. It is a collaborative effort, comprising input from a number of agencies who have been proactive in the areas of gender, climate change, and disaster risk-reduction in the Pacific Region, including: the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement in the Pacific region; the UNDP Pacific Centre; and World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) Fiji Country Programme.

Keywords: disaster, climate change, Pacific, gender, community, vulnerability, Risk reduction

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, International Organizations, NGOs Regions: Oceania

Year: 2009

Women and Climate Change: A Case-Study from Northeast Ghana

Citation:

Glazebrook, Trish. 2011. “Women and Climate Change: A Case-Study from Northeast Ghana.” Hypatia 26 (4): 762–82.

Author: Trish Glazebrook

Abstract:

This paper argues that there is ethical and practical necessity for including women's needs, perspectives, and expertise in international climate change negotiations. I show that climate change contributes to women's hardships because of the conjunction of the feminization of poverty and environmental degradation caused by climate change. I then provide data I collected in Ghana to demonstrate effects of extreme weather events on women subsistence farmers and argue that women have knowledge to contribute to adaptation efforts. The final section surveys the international climate debate, assesses explanations for its gender blindness, and summarizes the progress on gender that was made at Copenhagen and Cancun in order to document and provoke movement toward climate justice for women.

Topics: Economies, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, International Organizations, Justice, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Ghana

Year: 2011

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