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Intensifying Working Women’s Burden: The Impact Of Globalization On Women Labor In Asia

1555 words - 7 pages

The book is a compiled action research and documentation work that focused on the varying levels and degree of intensities of women’s work as they contribute to a country’s development and how the intricacies of free-trade or globalization impacts the lives of women- their personhood, their families and their communities. The research involved about eight (8) Asian countries – India, Hongkong, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Langka, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines with poor women who are very much involved and working in the fishing, agriculture, manufacturing/industrial sectors as well as migrant women workers.

The Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN) took the lead in the research ...view middle of the document...

Indonesia unfolded the ill-effects of mining, urbanization/industrialization and commercial fishing in the coastal villages they have gone to. The Pakistan research group focused on the sunflower seeds production as part of its cash-crop/agricultural modernization. The Philippine team shared their researches on the issues (particularly the ill- effects) of aquaculture, ecotourism and the agro-chemical TNCs (industry). With Korea, they tackled the phenomenal crisis of outward migration especially of women.

The document unfolds with deliberate discussions on the power of globalization by four speakers who are experts on the subject matter. Providing an overview about globalization implicates the reader to have some understanding on the current development context, the direction/s each country chooses to embark on and its logical results/consequences/impacts towards its people and with women, in particular. There is a common recognition among the resource speakers that globalization is neoliberalism and “takes the form of liberalization, privatization and deregulation.” There is dominance or monopoly of a few (the North and transnational corporations). Antonio Tujan, Jr. further takes his discussion to explain the conflict of interests – which development path must be followed “ rural development versus modernization, national industrialization versus foreign investments, labor standards and social protection versus liberalization/privatization/deregulation.

Irene Fernandez shared the possible influx of globalization thru a historical approach stating that globalization may have deeply penetrated Asian countries in waves- during colonization, after World War 2 with the grant of the so-called ‘independence’ and the recent institutionalization of the GATT-WTO.” While the previous speakers also mentioned the profound effect and impact of this phenomenon to women as all kinds of work, traditional and emerging, becomes more feminized and operates on the “premise of gender discrimination ….. with the assumption that women are willing to work for lower pay, are docile, easily controlled and has special aptitude for repetitive and demeaning work” , the 2 succeeding resource persons, Govind Kelkar and Shandrika Sharma were more focused on the impact of globalization specifically to women.

Govind and Sharma acknowledged that while there were some positive outcomes (as other quarters suggests) to globalization – increased employment, more women entrepreneurs – majority of women still remains bounded to the chains of oppression. Both argues that the “social construction that is gender… and patriarchy” are key detriments to women development and empowerment. Among governments, the so called policy makers and planners and development agencies, it is well that they start to consider looking at the “gendered responsibility of women in the household for subsistence and survival, the absence of an integrated view of the...

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