Capitalism, Globalization and the Perpetuation of Women’s Oppression: a Vicious Cycle
By Kelsey Lavoie
NDYA, Provincial Youth Liason
According to the World Bank, women make up 70% of the world’s poor and their wages world wide are on average 50% to 80% of men’s. One third of all households word wide are headed by women, they are responsible for half the world’s food production, and yet they own just one per cent of the world’s property. The majority of workers in sweatshops are women and the majority of unpaid labour is done by women in every region of the world. Further, women make up two-thirds of the one billion people who are illiterate and 60% of the 100 million who have no access to primary education.
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The perpetuation of capitalism on a global scale has resulted in the current state of underdevelopment and dependence experienced by ‘less developed countries”. This is reflected in how the socio-economic and political structures of the dependent countries are structured to subordinate a country’s domestic needs to foster and nurture the economic interest of the “developed” countries. This situation has existed since the days of colonialism, but has become increasingly powerful with the formation of institutions and structures such as the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). In response to the debt crisis of the 1980’s the IMF, which professed wanting to help less-developed countries, imposed structural adjustment policies and austerity measures which involved cutting public spending, privatization of government programs and forced