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Globalization and Women’s Work

Globalization and Women’s Work

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Published by Ruby Ojha

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Published by: Ruby Ojha on Nov 23, 2010
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09/25/2014

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Globalization and Women’s Work
1
By – Dr. Ruby Ojha,Associate Professor,PG Department of Economics,SNDT Women’s University,Mumbai – 400020
1.Introduction
In terms of economics, an aspect of globalization refers to the inexorableintegration of markets, nation - states, and technologies to a degree nevewitnessed before – in a way that is enabling individuals, corporations and nation-states to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper and cheaper than ever before. (Chineze J. Onyejekwe, 2004). Globalisation also means that a newinternational division of labour has emerged. Economic globalization and deepeconomic restructuring across countries have led to informalised, contractualand decentralized processes of production that have transformed labour marketsand the world of work in industrialized and developing countries.
 
In the process,social security and statutory protection to workers have been dismantled (Patel,Vibhuti 2007).Globalization means that the enterprises or private enterprises should be freefrom any bonds imposed by the state. There should be greater openness tointernational trade and investment. There should be no price controls and totalfreedom of movement for capital, goods and services should be there.
  
Publicexpenditure for social services like education and health care and safety-net for 
1
Paper was presented in International Conference on
“Gender & Development in the World of Work”
organized jointly by Women Work & Health Initiative, Asia, Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India, Bundelkhand University, Jhansi, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai and Manana at Jhansi from25 to 27 March, 2010.
 
the poor should be reduced. Maintenance of roads, bridges, and water supplyshould be privatized. Government regulation of everything that diminishes profitsshould be removed, including protecting the environment and safety on the job.State-owned enterprises, goods and services including banks, key industries,railroads, toll highways, electricity, schools, hospitals and even fresh water should be sold to the private investors to improve efficiency. The concept of “ThePublic Good” or “Community” should be eliminated and replaced with "individualresponsibility,"
2.Gender perspective
From a gender perspective the theory of globalization assumes, that women’sparticipation in the labor market is constrained by the intermittent nature of their natural childrearing roles or mothering. Free play of market forces have mademajority of women more vulnerable in labour and product markets. This has oftenled to their relative invisibility in work and labour. This process affects men andwomen in different ways. According to Chineze J. Onyejekwe (2004), women’sexperiences with this process are extremely complex and diverse - both positiveand negative.
3.Womens Positive Experience
In terms of employment, for example, women have benefited from this process.The Oxfam report of 8 February 2004, states that in the past 20 years, tradeliberalization has created employment for millions of women who now occupybetween 60-90% of jobs in the labor-intensive stages of the clothing and foodsupply chains. In Kenya, 75% of factory workers are women, in Sri Lanka 85%
 
and in Cambodia up to 90%. In China’s Guangdong province, four out of fivepeople working in the garment sector are women under 25 (there are 26 millionmigrant workers in the province). A significant number of the women workers inother countries include: 48 percent in India, 74 percent in the Philippines, and 80percent in China. In this regard, economic globalization has opened up niches for women to create opportunities, particularly for their livelihood.
4.Negative Experience
Despite these benefits, labour market regulations based on the neo-liberalideology negatively impact on women. Under globalization women have been thefirst victims of downsizing and rationalization. Their subjugation and exploitationhave increased through retrenchment, unemployment, and increase in contract/subcontract work, home working and loss of livelihood. Indicators such asdeclining workforce participation rate, casual employment status, growingnumber of women in unorganized sector, all point to the marginalization of women (Ghadially, 2007).
Laissez Faire
in the labour market has threatened the employment opportunitiesof the adult married women. During the last one decade, there has been drasticincrease in the girl child labour…Marked feature of neo-liberal policy isenlightened self-interest activated through market forces in the era of economicglobalization. Globalization rides on the back of cheap labour of women andchildren. Landscape of urban and rural informal sector in dozens of South Asian(India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal) and South East Asian (Thailand,Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia) countries, Indo-China (Laos, Kampuchea and

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