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Fridays Academy: Gender and Macroeconomic Management

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

 From Raj Nallari and Breda Griffith's lecture notes.


Empirical Evidence on Impact of Globalization on Women (II)


Trade-related gains.

Trade-related gains in employment for women in developing countries have occurred in export processing zones (EPZs), subcontract work for larger firms and in the informal sector.   In all of these, women’s employment is characterized by long hours, job insecurity and unhealthy working conditions, as well as low pay.

In Ecuador, flower-exports increased and women benefited. In Bangladesh, about 2 million jobs were created in textiles and apparel industry, majority of workers are women.  However, trade openness implies that imports of goods and services would also rise and women who are in the import-substitution industries could lose jobs (e.g. as happened in small farming agriculture in Sub-Saharan African countries where women had to compete with cheaper imports).

As shown in the following graph, share of women employed in export manufacturing in selected East Asian countries is larger compared with women’s employment in other manufacturing. This re-confirms that trade openness contributed to employment of women in selected countries for which data is available.  In other words, employment in import-susbstituting manufacturing did not create as many jobs as in the export manufacturing sector.  But, what about the wage rates in export and non-export manufacturing?  Next week we will look at the gender wage gap.



Source: Shaianne T. Osterreich (2005) Gender and International Trade in Asia: Case Studies on Households and Workers,  Ithaca College, New York, and Universitas Surabaya, Indonesia.  Workshop on Economic Policy and Gender Capacity Building in East Asia, Oct. 25-26


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