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The Current Economic and Financial Crisis: A Gender Perspective

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  • Rania Antonopoulos

Abstract

Widespread economic recessions and protracted financial crises have been documented as setting back gender equality and other development goals in the past. In the midst of the current global crisis--often referred to as "the Great Recession"--there is grave concern that progress made in poverty reduction and women's equality will be reversed. Indeed, for many developing countries it is particularly worrisome that, through no fault of their own, the global economic downturn has exacerbated effects from other crises manifest in food insecurity, poverty, and increasing inequality. This paper explores both well-known and less discussed paths of transmission through which crises affect women's world of work and overall wellbeing. As demand for textile and agricultural exports decline, along with tourism, job losses are expected to rise in these female-intensive industries. In addition, the gendered nature of the world of work suggests that women will see an increase in their share among informal and vulnerable workers worldwide, and will also supply more of their labor under unpaid conditions. The latter is particularly important in the context of developing countries, where many production activities take place outside the strict boundaries of the market. The paper also makes this point: examined through the prism of gender equality, the ability of the state to implement countercyclical policies matters greatly. If policy responses at the national and international levels end up aggravating inequities, gender equality processes face many more barriers, especially among the poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_562.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_562

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Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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Cited by:
  1. Tamar Khitarishvili, 2013. "The Economic Crisis of 2008 and the Added Worker Effect in Transition Countries," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_765, Levy Economics Institute.
  2. Lina Gálvez, 2013. "Una lectura feminista del austericidio," Revista de Economía Crítica, Asociación de Economía Crítica, vol. 15, pages 80-110.
  3. Forbes, Kinisha, 2011. "Inequality in crisis and recovery : revealing the divides: the case of Brazil," ILO Working Papers 469849, International Labour Organization.
  4. van Staveren, I.P., 2010. "Gender trends in developing countries during financial crises," ISS Working Papers - General Series 511, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  5. Lina Gálvez-Muñoz & Paula Rodríguez-Modroño & Tindara Addabbo, 2013. "The impact of European Union austerity policy on women's work in Southern Europe," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0108, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia Politica.

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