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"Women's Liberation Seems to Be Only for the Rich", A Discussion from Political Economy


  • Karen Andrea García Rojas



On average women are paid less than men for equal work in every country in the world. In Colombia, the average of the wage gap seems to be between 10% and 13% although women have surpassed men in average years of education. A part of these gap can be explained because of men are greater represented in better paid disciplines, but the main explanation, 'the subjective one', relevant with gender wage discrimination, could explain more than the half of the gap. Historically, the female has had to cope with the existence of a stereotyped division of work, which has assigned her, specific roles with deep traditional roots. For women it has not been easy to get rid of these cultural patterns, which not only involve employment discrimination by employers, but also involve, in general, doubts and dilemmas that make them less competitive in a world dominated by men during centuries.There are several papers about the gender wage gap in Colombia. But this field only considers women professional workers, it means, high and middle classes. If they are in that situation, what happen with the lower classes´ women? This essay constructs a discussion since a political economy critical view, around the difficult situation of labor gender discrimination and particular situations of female workers in all social classes, making a comparison between the roles and dilemmas of women workers of different classes; under the recognition that low class women face a deeper and more dramatic discrimination. In the lower classes, women's situation is far to be `liberation´, although in some social circles there is the wrong idea that work gender discrimination `is over´. In general, lower classes´ women do have a low possibility of independence, autonomy and gender consciousness, because of the difficult access to quality education and formal jobs. Moreover, there is evidence which proves that executive women and women in leadership jobs have been decisively supported by the domestic work to get 'success' in their careers; which shows that in our society there is a gender gap by social class: the dynamics of modern capitalism has allowed, in general, the improved of the welfare, independence and equality for women in upper class (although there remains a gap with their male counterparts), but has not brought the same benefits to lower class women.

Suggested Citation

  • Karen Andrea García Rojas, 2012. ""Women's Liberation Seems to Be Only for the Rich", A Discussion from Political Economy," ECONOGRAFOS - ESCUELA DE ECONOMÍA 009935, UN - RCE - CID.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000176:009935

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lawrence R. Klein, 1947. "Theories of Effective Demand and Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 108-108.
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    More about this item


    gender wage gap; subject of degree; gender identity; social classes; domestic work; informal work; double workday; gender patterns and dilemmas; patriarchal capitalism.;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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