The silent majority in a globalized world

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Are women as globalized as men? Daniel Altman provoked some gender-balanced debate by noting that 95% of the comments on his Managing Globalization blog are from men. The same is true on the PSD blog. Commenters write that women sometimes post as men in hopes of being taken more seriously. They also quibble about his implied definition of globalization. Those points aside, Dan raises an interesting question. A few of my unscientific reflections on "women's globalization" after the jump...

I type this sitting in a business class lounge (membership has its privileges) in Seoul that's crowded with international travelers. Just for fun, I took a walk around and calculate that maybe 5 of us are women. I've often noticed (on the walk back to coach) that first class seats are almost always filled by men. And I know it's due to limited English skills, but I've been called "sir" by 5 different airline personnel today. (Or perhaps I'm not looking my best?)

In Vietnam this week, I was struck by how many women were engaged in hard labor and/or unpleasant work. They were clomping through rice fields in big rubber boots, balancing heavy loads on one shoulder through the market, standing guard at highway checkpoints amid choking air pollution, and paddling simple rowboats across the vast Halong Bay. Here was one tenet of socialism - gender equality - in action. I was reminded of Karen Gottschang Turner's excellent book on the women of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, who were full partners with the men living in tunnels, repairing roads and shooting at enemy aircraft during the Vietnam War. But I digress.

To get back to Dan's question, I agree that women seem drastically underrepresented - at least in the development economics world. Thinking back to my econ classes, I remember studying just one female economist at any length - Anne Krueger. Where are the women blogging on economics?

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