UN Reports Mixed Impact of Globalization on Women

The 1999 World Survey of the Role of Women in Development concludes that while globalization has afforded women new opportunities in paid employment, with few exceptions that employment has been offered under inferior conditions and been accompanied by a disproportionate increase in financial responsibility.

The survey indicated that poor women, more than any other group, have had to shoulder the increased burden as governments retract social protection programs. Nonetheless, because of pervasive sexism among employers, women are the first to be fired in an economic crisis, and are almost always paid less (up to 50% less) even during good economic times.

The study concluded, “The forces unleashed by globalization have given rise to new opportunities that can potentially be empowering to women, on the one hand, and economic conditions which are inimical to gender equality, including increased economic volatility, job insecurity and loss of livelihood, on the other hand.”


U.N. Press Release

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