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 some informative papers. Here’s a quick guide..
Gender Perspectives on the Global Economic Crisis kicks off with an overview of the issues, and the findings of research from this and previous crises
Women Paying the Price: The impact of the global financial crisis on women in Southeast Asia summarizes the regional lessons
The original paper from March 2009 that set things in motion, Paying the Price for the Economic Crisis
And finally, the East Asia team has produced this short (6 minute) video of vox pops with Asian women that puts a human face on the issues discussed in the papers
This article was originally posted on the Poverty to Power blog on the Oxfam website.
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