Capitalism, Globalization and the Perpetuation of Women’s Oppression: a Vicious Cycle

1146 Words May 9th, 2008 5 Pages
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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They believe that increased efficiency of the market and economic growth innately correlate with increased living standards and wellbeing. This is not the case. Instead, global capitalism has lead to increased exploitation, oppression and an ever increasing gap between the rich and the poor. As the historically exploited sex, women are baring the brunt of the negative effects of global capitalism and are the least likely to gain from the limited benefits.

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

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