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The Globalization of Trade and It's Effect on Woman

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2012 02:04 AM
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The Globalization of Trade and Its Effect on Women
Introduction It is no secret that millions of women around the world live in poverty. With women making up roughly 70 percent of the world’s 1.3 billion poor, there can be no doubt that poverty is a truly pervasive, and feminine, issue.1 There are many reasons behind this. Many societies’ attitudes towards women deny them access to the natural resources, credit, and training that they need to run businesses and enhance their well-being.2 More often than not, women cannot travel as freely as men as they are limited by their relative lack of assets, or faced with familial obligations that prevent their migration. And in an increasingly sophisticated marketplace, women are at a disadvantage when competing with those who have greater access to markets and new technology. Despite their prevalence, women’s issues have remained at the periphery of academic inquest, especially in economics. Women have been largely absent in economic study, and are completely absent from mainstream economic texts. “Theory in economics is often written with a capital T. Theory means model, and model means ideas expressed in mathematical form. This overemphasis on technique and abstract analysis leaves little room for social distinctions like gender.”3 While it is true that ‘gender’ economics is a rapidly expanding field, it remains obvious that there is a distinct lack of information on the subject. Economics has largely ignored the fact that the voracious globalization of the world economy is affecting women. However, empirical analysis is not necessary to appreciate the concept that globalization is increasing the incidence of women’s poverty. Small women-run or dominated businesses simply cannot compete with cheaper imported products brought in by trade liberalization. In

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UNIFEM., ‘Economic Empowerment: Strengthening Women’s Economic Capacity’ (United Nations, 1997, http://unifem.undp.org/economic.htm) 2 ibid 3 Geske Dijkstra,...

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