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Gender and Trade

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

From Raj Nallari's lecture notes on Gender and Macroeconomics.

 

Globalization, defined as the increasingly free flow of ideas, people, goods, services, and capital that leads to the integration of economies and societies, has become a major force for global change, but much remains to be understood about the transmission channels and potential impacts.  The developing countries commonly complain that the global system is a ‘creditor-run trade and financial system’ and as such, maintaining the stability of the trading and financial systems is more important for the advanced countries than the developing world.  As interdependence between the developed (North) and developing countries (South) becomes greater, the economic policies of the North will probably become more and more important for the South.

 

More than merely the expansion of worldwide trade, globalization is based on improvements in the last two to three decades in telecommunications and information technology, and  financial sector reform that has opened domestic markets to foreign investors, especially in services,  and the differences between local and international markets is blurred.  These developments are impacting upon the structures of employment.  Women's employment and income earning prospects must now  take account of the globalization (Joekes 1995, p.6).  For example,  some developing countries which exported a rising proportion of their manufactured output to the developed countries tended to employ a rising proportion of females in their manufacturing sectors (Wood p. 171). No  strong  export performance in manufactures by any developing country has ever been  secured  without reliance on female labor. (Joekes 1995, p 12.)  Women now comprise about one third of all industrial sector workers in developing countries (Ibid. p.4).  In a series of articles Guy Standing details several aspects of globalization that have affected labor conditions and use of modern technologies, with direct consequences for male-female work patterns and labor regulations  (Standing 1999, p. 584).

 

The full paper is attached.

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