FSE/ESF Forum social européen/European Social Forum - Neoliberal Capitalism and Feminization of Poverty
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Memoria Viva // Paris 2003 Reports // Against war //

Neoliberal Capitalism and Feminization of Poverty [en]
16 December 2003

Women contribute to two thirds of the world’ work hours, account for 60% of the labor force and contribute to 25-40% of GNP in developing countries, even though much of this work is invisible – unaccounted for in official figures. Despite this participation, they constitute the majority of the world’s poor people.



 

The feminization of poverty is accelerated by the neoliberal agenda, governed by the rule of the market, public expenditure cuts for social services, privatization, and deregulation of everything that could diminish profits. In this process, women play a crucial role as a cheap, and skilled labor force.

The patriarchal nature of neoliberalism downplay women’s role in the economy by pushing them into low-paid and insecure jobs, and weakening their chances to take part in the policy-shaping and decision making process.

Women are now under the new attack – WTO, fostering trade liberalization on services and imposing GATS on national governments, will impact on women’s working condition, and income, as well as their access to water, schooling, affordable health, and other services. And if women are concerned, everyone is concerned. GATS, as an effective instrument of neoliberal global governance, will “successfully” increase the poverty everywhere where implemented, making the poor poorer, and the rich richer.

Fight against poverty demands changing the ruling trends of the economic globalization, posing accountability to the international actors, and developing economic alternatives, based on solidarity and human rights, taking into account needs of the most vulnerable groups. Effective politics to combat poverty is not possible without resistance to neoliberalism, and development of global politics that will be based on democracy, and rule of the international law, posing international standards and obligations to all international actors, including TNC and financial institutions.

Alternative proposals

- Develop economic alternatives that place more value on people and the community rather than on profit;
- alternatives that cherish the human spirit, knowledge and values; alternatives based on participatory and solidarity economy;
- economic alternatives based on human rights approach to development; strengthening international labor standards and protective measures;
- developing affirmative actions and fiscal policy aimed at decreasing poverty of women;
- building effective mechanisms to safeguard economic and social rights, especially of women and the other vulnerable and marginalized groups;
- developing global politics based on good governance, democracy and rule of international law.






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ORGANISATIONS
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SPEAKERS
- DOKMANOVIC Mirjana
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THEMES
- GENDER
- POVERTY
- GATS
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COUNTRIES/REGIONS
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