The word globalization refers to the economic processes linked with the victory of the capitalist model of development following the fall down of the Soviet Union. Hence it refers to the increasing global integration of markets and the surrender by countries of control over growing segments of their national economies as they adopt policies to facilitate this integration. Due to its special effects on a country’s financial system, political affairs and civilization, globalization as a process critically interconnected with the emerging role of women with repercussions for their chances to work and organize and for the change in societal attitudes toward gender. The economic sides of globalization’s impact on women are aware in the framework of the state-centered economic policies common in the region in the final half of the 20th century (Ellen 21).
Features of globalization
The structural adjustments linked with globalization cause family income to decline and social safety to be weakened increasing the challenges involved in supervising a family for a traditional woman and especially for poor and unemployed women in these countries. This has impacted on the women’s organizational activity. There has been establishment of women voluntary organizations to meet economic, social, educational women’s needs. Local non-governmental organizations have increased in numbers to step in to support women and the family where the state has been unsuccessful to provide social services. For instance, the Islamic charitable organizations that offers day care services for working mothers and Young Women’s Christian Association (Ellen and Deborah 11).
Development of export-oriented industries related with globalization favors women in most countries. Women have traditionally played a broad role in informal sector activities and their participation has come to be promoted by multilateral agencies and development experts as an engine of growth. Export industries sometimes have positive impact on women. Apart from ensuring job security and development, average wages are usually high compared to other works available for women (Deborah and Ellen 31).
Economic Contribution of Women.
Globalization has led to feminization of migrant work force as most women especially in the developing countries are leaving their own homes and families in poor countries to serve those of developed countries. Women migrant are on high increase as compared to men migrants in Canada, United States, Argentina, Sweden, Israel and United Kingdom. In industrial countries, women migrants from developing counties are usually recruited into home work. They devastatingly engage in job as maid, nannies or domestics. Men’s skills are in less demand in these countries. Husbands are becoming depressed by this state of unemployment and hence are turning to drinking and gambling as escape mechanisms wasting all the hard-earned cash send by their wives, leaving their children worse off then if their mother had stayed home.
This is the most vicious instances of force globalization, wearing even love from poor countries. This is seen as the last resort, exploiting the final resource the developing countries have left to sell that is motherhood and sex. The roots and repercussions of this are many with children in the developing countries being the victims as they pay the cost of their women’s absence which means losing their mothers so that developing countries children can have mothers, fathers and nannies.
Many countries have become economically dependant on the money that woman domestic employees send home. A good example is Philippines which depend almost entirely on the payment from women workers. In Philippines, 30 percent of children have a mother who works overseas. This is approximately 8 million children whose mothers work thousands miles from home (Eleanor & Posusney 17).
Weakened family ties
Traditionally, husbands were mostly the chief breadwinner in the family. However, this it is changing in today’s world which favors women more than men when it comes to employment opportunities and hence women are increasingly taking on the role of breadwinning their families. Women have taken the duty of providing for the family.
Globalization has also affected families bonds since members have to live apart in order to work so as to provide for the family. Morality is also on the decrease as well as the respect of children’s rights
Effects of globalization on women
Women’s vulnerability to unfair labor practices increases with increased globalization patterns of investment. In South Korea, women work for long hours and are paid normal pay rates and sometimes suffer physical abuse in addition to their economic exploitation. It is very common to be dismissed before the contract is over and the full rate payment is not given. The workers have no access to basic benefits and legal right which are often granted to permanent employees. The failure of women in poor countries to secure a job at home, thrilled by support from their government to find employment in abroad so that they can send wages back home has seen most women migrate seeking out for jobs, with domestic work being the only option. For example most Mexican, Jamaican and Philippians workers find themselves in Canada, Kuwait, United State, Singapore, Italy and Britain mostly cleaning toilets, bathrooms and offices. Their wages are at the mercy of the concerns of the employer. They can’t risk being sacked as those back home are dependant on them. For example, it is estimated that in Philippines five people are dependant on one family domestic worker abroad. This number is high and so too these people would not want their relative to loss her job since they do not have an alternative to access income or basic needs (Ellen and Deborah 41).
Sex tourism is another feature of globalization. There are organized prostitutions in the tourism industries in most developed nations with women being the main victims. Young girls are also favored as most men prefer them as opposed to older women. The other reason is that they are entitled to higher price as compared to older women. This has seen most girls being removed from school to join prostitutions in the name of complementing for their families income.
Globalization has also led to environmental degradation which has made it even more difficult for women to provide for their families with less government supports and less economic access. Environmental degradation has led to shortage in fuel wood, water and animal fodder. Without these components, it becomes difficult for the woman to provide basic needs for her family (Barbara and Russell 13).
Globalization has led to abuse and exploitation of women workers. Most women find themselves working almost 7days a week without an off or even being paid for extra hours worked. In most cases, they are also not supposed to leave the compound unaccompanied, to use the telephone, to make friends or even to chat with others. They don’t have access to health, social security, insurance and even when these benefits are subtracted from their wages. Some are subjected to physical abuse and sexual attacks whereas others who are seriously ill are denied medical treatment which can lead to terminal illness. In some cases maids are given as presents to the mistresses of diplomats or are exchanged and loaned out to other families for further exploitation.
Deborah, Figart, and Ellen Mutari. Livelihood wages, Equivalent Wages: Gender and labor Market Guidelines in the United States. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Eleanor, Doumato, & Posusney Marsha P. Women and Globalization in the Arab Middle East.
London: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003.
Barbara, Ehrenreich, and Russell Arlie. Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the Economy. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2003.
Ellen, Mutari. Legislating Living Wages into the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, New York:
Oxford Press, 2004.
Heather, Boushey and William fraher. Gender and Political Economy: Integrate Variety into Theory and Public Strategy. New York: M.E Sharpe, 1997.
Ellen, Mutari and Deborah Figart. The Economy and Women. New York: M.E. Sharpe Inc., 2003.