Violence, Women’s Work and the Global Economy: Recognising the links, Demanding Change
Brief summary of presentation of information made
Double Jeopardy report released by Acton action: The publication could not be provided in hard copy – but will be sent out.
The report looked at
- Violence against women and girls
- Economic exploitation of women and girls
- The ways in which they are mutually reinforcing
Some notes from the report:
Economic situation in Uganda mean that women need to marry men in order to survive, and to stay in relationships even if they are violent. Only 16 women protection centres in the country – but non run by the Ministry of Gender, all by NGO’s. Domestic violence act should take $25million to implement, but the ministry of gender receive a small percentage of this from the GDP.
Cambodia. 90% of garment workers are women. This comes from social norms about what is men and women’s work. Men receive higher wages by 27%, tax reductions. Women hired as they are more submissive, more willing to work for lower wages, harder working. Repercussions if they form or join a union.
Patriarchy manifests itself in every governance mechanism, system and structure. Women and girls are oppressed and exploited – including through economic gain – through the patriarchal economic structures that permeate the modern global economy
- Wangari Kinoti – Women’s Rights Policy Manager, ActionAid International
- Ana Inés Abelenda – Economic Justice Coordinator, AWID
- Baishali Chatterjee – International Project Manager, ActionAid International
- Christina Kwangwari, International Project Manager: Promoting Opportunities for Women's Empowerment and Rights (POWER), ActionAid International
- Dinah Musindarwezo – Director, FEMNET
- Erin Kenny – Gender-based Violence Specialist, UNFPA
- Professor Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat – Professor of Political Science, University of Connecticut
In what way are economic policies exacerbating inequality and therefore exposing women to violence:
- Women represent majority of underpaid and unpaid work. Decent labour can’t just be made in paid employment sector – we need to include the unpaid work.
- Industry – women’s cheap labour is seen as a competitive example
- Fiscal and tax policies at the national level – meaning uneven distribution of wealth.
- Tax justice at macro level – how can national government maintain social protection sectors including education, health etc
- National budgets – how are priorities decided and the impact of these.
Micro economic policies are formulated on gender biases and gender norms that see men as breadwinners and women as caregivers.
Increased economic status gives women increased options to negotiate their status at home and in the public. They have options to move out of an abusive relationship
Women and girls facing violence in humanitarian context – when displaced and under no protection from any state, they have greater options to work in the informal sector – this puts them at great risk as they have no where to go for protection when they end up in an exploitive situation. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is the largest form of violence in any humanitarian situation – exacerbated by the stresses of the displacement.
Who do we need to challenge – who is behind these policies that exacerbate violence?
- Power project Rwanda, Ghana, Pakistan & Bangladesh
- Challenge the African Union as they set policies for national governments
- South Asian of Regional Cooperation – they influence how policies are made at national level
- Large corporations for equality in workplace. Reduce the governments selling land to corporations without compensation to people who live on this land
- Religious leaders – who educate and inform the community.
Project of Interest: Young urban project in India and South Africa – Action Aid http://www.actionaid.org/jobs/actionaid-international-young-urban-women-s-project
State and Corporations. States work with corporations to attract investment. States cater to powerful culture and entities within their own borders. When combined we end up with power differentials enshrined in policy and law.
New-Liberal economic policies – include privatisation of state economic enterprises, social services, liberalisation of trade, devaluation of currency to stimulate exports. Need to recognise where power lies.
How to Respond
- Need resistance – form local trade union groups.
- Push for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention on women in the workforce
- Push for women to engage in policy making – FEMNET is supporting this.
Corporate accountability – treaty alliance – making sure that corporations are held accountable.
What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?
- The role of Faith Based Organisations (FBO) in changing social norms of gender equality in the community.
- The need to engage in work that fights macro policy for fairer national policies.