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Globalization & Gender Inequality Essay

News reports suggest that economic giants from third world Asia namely China and India are expected to grow at the rate of 9. 7 and 6. 5 percent respectively. The GDP growth rate of these nations is much higher than that of any developed nation and hence are the two fastest growing economy of the world. China has now become the factory of the world with large multinational companies infusing lots of money in establishing manufacturing units and India is now one of the major destinations for back office jobs and is the leading service sector economy.

The process which has got its roots right from the beginning of 20th century with the beginning of economic cooperation between Europe and the United States later became synonymous with the word development in Far East Asian Countries including the ASEAN (The World Bank Group, 2000). But still this globalization has yet to make this world a better place to live. The concern related to the globalization process is the growth which is visible is actually more of mathematical in nature than the real cumulative growth.

It might be taking place at the cost those who are less privileged (Kumar, 2007). The purpose of this paper is look into the existence of gender inequality in the current scenario where globalization has made the whole world a village with each country having its own identity and purpose in this world. Exchange of information and knowledge is perhaps the simplest in the history of mankind with details of culture of one state can easily be gathered for study, research as well as adoption.

But when the matter of gender equality comes into picture then the globalization has miserably failed in making its impact. Developed nations as we all know have made great advancements in implementing the concept of gender equality while the other developing and under-developed nations have miserably failed. As a whole in the developing nations including the Middle East region, globalization has brought great increase in country’s GDP but social structure of these nations have been far from with atrocities against women are almost similar prevalent in early 20th century (Ramji, 1997).

Literature Review The economic growth produced and as defined in above paragraphs has yielded results more in terms of mathematical or statistical in nature. The definition of this economic growth in terms of increases in national income has actually undermines women and its contribution to the society. Various activities which are not directly related to economic nature are not being made a part of the national accounting system. Areas of work such as mothering or child-rearing and housework, socially constructed for women, are not included as work when national growth and GDP is being calculated.

The UNDP Human Development Report 1996 has concluded that the much propagated economic growth and its expansion since 1980 recent decades show all too clearly that there is no actual relation between economic growth and human development especially females. The concept of Human Development Index (HDI) has been defined in order to calculate the average of the achievements a country undertakes when human capabilities are taken as the variable to measure. The term is being sub varied with smaller variables which includes life expectancy at birth, adult literacy rate, and real gross domestic product per capita i. e.

, the PCI which comes into picture when we consider GDP as one of the variable rather the most important variable (Ramji, 1997). The human society has been given a broad view including both men and women while calculating the development of the society as a whole and its multi sided presence. The actual calculation of improvement on domestic front is being measured in terms improvement in human well-being taken along with economic growth targets. Feminist have been known to follow Walter Rodney’s definition of development in which an individual and his capability is given a level crafted out comparison with some standard value.

The capability and its improvement imply the very increased skills and capacities enabling greater freedom over creativity coming out of self-discipline though responsibility and material well-being. The definition go on emphasizing on the features that holds true in sense of moral categories and its evaluation over a nation depending on the class in terms of social origin, personal code for the classification of what is right and what is wrong and age in which one lives.

At the level of a community, sustainable human development is defined in terms of the development that gives priority to the poor, enlarging their choices and opportunities and providing for their participation in decisions that affects their lives. This development is pro-people, pro-nature, pro-employment, and pro-women and not only generates economic growth but also distributes its benefits equitably thereby regenerating the cohesive environment which empowers people.

But here the ambiguity comes along with segregated approach towards women which is more gender gapped approach with facilitators enabling sustainable development programs that gives high priority to the poor with assumption being that the state of poverty is quite natural and any solution to achieve 100% poverty eradication is unrealistic. But the Human Development Report (1995, p4) has provided the feministic approach to poverty which suggest that almost 70% of total poor are actually women.

The definition as of now used to consider poor as a whole but the reality across. But the reality talks of poverty among women are along with different parameter. It presents a very different picture and even in well to do families the condition of women is not good. In the paper by Vincent J. Bolt and Kate Bird, lack of resources and asymmetrical power relations often result in the discrimination of resources of the intra-household resources which include food, health care and education (13).

Even if the females manage to earn some money, their income is being considered as the household income and again they have face discrimination when it is being distributed (Bolt, 14). Poverty and lack of education has prevented any possible social renaissance. The birth of a male child is still considered as very important phenomena. This sometimes led to the birth of a number of girls when parents go on giving birth to babies till the birth of a male child.

With already poor household and lots of mouth to feed and a male child, the female members are forced to sacrifice their share in every possible resource sharing (Bolt, 20). The Helsinki Process in its report has stated that families suffering with persistent poverty and hunger are more prone to disease and violence especially domestic violence (11). The report also states that these people perform badly on health index too. They are in continuous chain of disease, conflict and with poverty contributing a lot to epidemics of infection with all access to health care being blocked (Helsinki Process, 15).

So it’s not a surprise if world wide more than 500,000 women die annually in pregnancy with 99% being a part of developing but poor countries (Helsinki Process, 15). A family is always talked of being a unit of social system but in some part of western world and almost whole of Asia and Africa, the life of women and children is miserable because of conditions in the family itself. There have been some cases that family is rich. The male part comprising of father and son are financially sound but females’ condition is not just bad rather it is miserable.

The family is seldom a unit. Distribution of resources is rarely equal. Females are given less food. All this leads to a condition where women are poor while their husbands or brothers or sons are not. But this is not the end of all sorts of oppressions. The newly searched form of household abuse is men afflicting their wife with HIV/AIDS virus. In most of the poor families, males migrate to cities in search of work and money. They get themselves affected with virus because of unprotected sex. And when they return they finally transmit it to their wives.

Due to this, number of innocent sufferers of this deadly virus is on increase with potential high enough to cause an epidemic (Jacobson, 41). Poverty and continuous domestic violence has its effect not only on current generations but also on next generation because of children being regularly exposed to violent behavior. This actually opens a cycle of oppression and aggression with those children becoming more volatile and aggressive. Their chances of economic and academic successes get diminished to another low and will become another source of family and household abuse (Bloom, 16).

Conclusion So technically there exist two causes of women’s poverty: the first one is absolute poverty while the second one is subordination within the family. When Globalization is talked about then with relevance to the women and men, it is basically a process presented in terms of economic and political paradigm through wide range of variables namely finance, investment, production and marketing that are being dominated by visionary banks and firms with actions spread across national borders and interests.

But the thing globalization in terms of poor only presents another way of capitalism and monetary dominance with profiteering over cheap labor and atrocities of poor. Extending the same when looked upon with women in view gives a more grim view. The males have been found to usurp the decision making control irrespective of the family ((Ramji, 1997). condition. The Middle East region and other South Asian regions are very much prone to these social problems. Males have been found to try their best to prevent all sorts of help and any attempt of abused to attain economic independence.

These males are poor and are thrashed all over their lives initially during childhood and now by their employers. Their level of frustration is extremely high which finally lead to their wives and children who are now at the receiving end of their frustration. They are alcohol abused and finally abuse their family members (Bloom, 13). Wife beating is a regular feature in those families. These people are very much prone to high risk sex and they finally transmit all this to their wives (Bloom, 23). The wives have more in their life left. They can only hope some thing better in next life only.

With most of these cases being a part of developing nations and war torn ones, the chances of getting justice is the least. They are abused on every possible ground and may become mentally unstable with effect being faced by the child they have born.

Bibliography Bloom, Sandra L. , “The PVS Disaster: Poverty, Violence and Substance Abuse in the Lives of Women and Children”. September 2002. A Review of the Recent Literature Women’s Law Project, 2002 <http://www. sanctuaryweb. com>. “Empowering People at Risk: Human Security Priorities for the 21st Century”. Helsinki Process. Robinson, M.

, “Advancing the Human Development Agenda: A Shared Responsibility”, January, 2005. Third Forum on Human Development Cultural Identity, Democracy and Global Equity, Paris. “Poverty and Violence”. <http://familystudies. boisestate. edu/pdf/Paper2_Carmody. pdf> Bolt, Vincent J. & Bird, Kate. “The Intrahousehold Disadvantages Framework: A Framework for the Analysis of Intra-household Difference and Inequality”, July 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre. Kumar, A. (2007). Does Foreign Direct Investment Help Emerging Economies? Insights from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vol.

2, no. 1 “Security on Whose terms? If Men and Women are equal”. Kevinna Till Kevinna Foundation. “The NSDUH Report: Youth Violence and illicit Drug Abuse”, 2006, National Survey on Drug Use and Health “Surviving Violence and Poverty: A Focus on the Link between Domestic and Sexual Violence, Women’s Poverty and Welfare” 2002. Now Legal and Education Fund Ramji, S. (1997) Globalization and Gender Inequality, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6 The World Bank Group (2000), Assessing Globalization, Economic Policy Group and Development Economics Group


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