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Working Paper No. 426 | July 2005

Gender Inequality in a Globalizing World

Emphasis on market-friendly macroeconomic and development strategies in recent years has resulted in deleterious effects on growth and well-being, and has done little to promote greater gender equality. This paper argues that the example of East Asia states, which recognized their position as "late industrializers," relied on a managed-market approach with the state that employed a wide variety of policy instruments to promote industrialization. Nevertheless, while Asian growth was rapid, it was not enough to produce greater gender equality. A concentration of women in mobile export industries that face severe competition from other low-wage countries reduces their bargaining power and inhibits closure of gender-wage gaps. Gender-equitable macroeconomic and development policies are thus required, including financial market regulation, regulation of trade and investment flows, and gender-sensitive public sector spending.

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Author(s):
Stephanie Seguino

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