However, at the level of women’s work and employment issues, the movement has yet towork out a strategic perspective. At one level it has been engaged with organisedinterventions which, often with the backing of the international financial institutionsassociated with the globalization project, have been promoting perceptional divorce betweenthe local or individual economic interests of women and the wider movements of theoppressed and exploited classes and communities. The retarding effects of suchinterventions on sections of the movement can be seen in the tendency to focus on perceivedeconomic ‘opportunities’ for some very few women in ‘global markets’, a reluctance toanalyse or address the macro-processes driving globalization, and equivocation and evasionfrom taking a stand against economic imperialism. In consequence a distancing from thefundamental social and political agendas of the Indian women’s movement has insidiouslyinserted itself into several discourses claiming to advance gender equity.On the other hand, many issue based ors local interest based movements and organisationsinvolved with women’s economic activities have also started giving voice to their experiencebased need for wider and more forceful political intervention and movement against thelarger processes associated with globalization. This was strikingly evident in the wideranging participation of such movements, and large numbers of women in the World SocialForum 2004 which provided a meeting ground for peasant, workers’, women’s, dalit andenvironmental movements to come together against what was termed “capitalist ledglobalization”.In March 2000, at the initiative of six national level women’s organisations including theCWDS, some ninety women’s groups and organisations were signatory to a documentprepared for the Global March 2000.This document,
United Voices againstGlobalization, Poverty and Violence in India, was the first attempt at a comprehensiveanalysis of the adverse effects of IMF and World Bank dictated Structural AdjustmentPolicies (SAP) and globalization on women in India, by the principal national platform of the united women’s movement. Since then, the processes of globalization have continuedand deepened, with consequent effects of rising urban and rural unemployment, a fall inthe share of women’s employment in manufacturing and services, increasing migrationparticularly of women, deepening agrarian crisis – mass suicides of farmers accompanied byrising proportions of women in the embattled peasantry, increasing non-availability of employment in agriculture particularly for women, falls in per capita agricultural output,dangerous levels of erosion of food security, etc. The 2001 census has brought to light theshocking decline in sex ratio in the 0-6 age group between 1991 and 2001, largely a productof spread of sex selective abortions. Research and experience have pointed to its intimateconnection with the exponential expansion of medical technologies for private profit,associated with liberalisation and privatisation and the enhanced commercialisation of human relations which is a hallmark of globalization. Women’s organisations also have toengage with the consequences of a globalization induced or international demonstrationeffect based wave of consumerism. Once again research and experience has shown that thishas facilitated the expansion of dowry on an unprecedented scale, socially and culturallyrolling back some of the advances made by the anti-dowry movement of the eighties. Old,new, and expanded forms of violence against women have clearly found powerful stimulusfrom the cultural environment created by an unchecked drive towards commodification of women, with neo-liberal market fundamentalism establishing itself as the dominant sourceof social regulation and policy.