The gender impact of the global meltdown: 7 new papers and a video
February 24, 2010
One of the aspects which is almost invariably missing from substantive discussions on the global economic crisis (and which quite often, doesn’t even get lip service) is the gender dimension. Women and men experience crises in different ways, and are unequally affected by government responses. Often, pre-existing inequalities, which include under-representation of women at all levels of economic decision-making and their over-representation in informal, vulnerable, and casual employment, are more significant than gender inequalities arising specifically from the crisis.
Disaggregating the gendered inequalities, impacts and responses can reveal issues that are largely invisible from conventional accounts of the crisis, for example, the impact on the ‘unpaid economy’ as women are forced into taking second and third paid jobs to make ends meet, or the squeeze on women in the informal economy resulting from job losses in the formal economy, or women’s particular vulnerability to being put on short hours in factories and large firms. Since the early days of the crisis, Oxfam’s been trying to fill that gap, and has just published a spate of papers, most of them from our hyperactive East Asia team. Here’s a quick guide