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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Patriarchy and Globalization (2003)

Claaacg8 Journal April 2003

All over the world, although on different levels and in very various forms, women live an oppression which is a result of their simply being women. One consequence of this world over is that women work for free for a large part of their time without it being considered an injustice.
So-called domestic work (which for peasant women includes a whole series of unpaid agricultural tasks) serves the interests of men on a global level, but also those of the capitalist economy which depends on domestic exploitation of women to better impose its neo-liberalist policies. Free work and the underpayment of women allows the capitalist economy in particular to limit public services by placing responsibility for these tasks on women and to increase temporary, low-paid employment aimed above all at women.
In the countries of the South the exploitation of women is of a particularly intense violence and directly threatens their survival. They are doubly discriminated against there, on the one hand as women, while on the other as blacks, indians or mulattos. By so depending on racism and sexism, globalization reinforces unequal North-South relationships, and intensifies exploitation and the pollution of Southern countries while always seeking to create new markets and new profits.


  • 80% of people in a condition of poverty are women
  • Women carry out two thirds of all work hours
  • Women receive one tenth of the world's revenue
  • Women possess less than one percent of the world's money
  • Two thirds of all work carried out by women in the world is unpaid
Globalization eliminates all fundamental right to food, water, health, housing and education, in particular for women in the South where generally no social net exists. Where there is poverty, women are always the last to eat, to take care of themselves or to attend school.
Globalization, which destroys basic services, somehow manages to place responsibility for these needs in the farming regions on women. For example, it is women who must walk miles to look for water or wood, or to forage for food substitutes (roots, wild herbs, etc.) in order that the family can survive.
Globalization reduces public services to nothing in the countries of the North and it is women who take on the State's old responsibilities for free, such as caring for the elderly.
Globalization pollutes and endangers women's health in the farming communities of the South, because they are frequently in contact with contaminated river water for use in domestic chores.
Globalization pillages natural resources and appropriates the ancestral knowledge of the women in the agricultural regions of the South who are often expert in crop management.
Globalization is increasing temporary labour everywhere in the North while leaving women the worst-paid and most demanding jobs such as on-call work.
Globalization destroys local economies in the South and produces the forced migration of women peasants and their exploitation in particularly laborious and dangerous jobs such as itinerant vending, prostitution or domestic slavery.
Globalization allows multinationals to exploit low-waged, malleable female labour in the South, notably in factories which produce for export (textiles, electronics, agricultural industries, etc.), which fulfil no local needs, destroy the environment and forbid unionising.
Globalization reinforces physical and sexual abuse of women, most notably because it justifies wider intervention by police and the military, who as a result of their intrinsically sexist nature attack women in particular.
Let's fight together against patriarchy and globalization!
No feminist revolution without social justice!
No self-management without the abolition of female oppression!
No equality without an end to racism!
Anarcha-Feminist Revolution!
* * * * *
Infokiosk Féministe, c/o Espace autogéré, César-Roux 30, 1005 Lausanne Les Casse-Rôles, CP 275, 1000 Lausanne 17
The logic of the capitalist globalization process reproduces and reinforces the patriarchal domination of the world. Critical analysis of this logic allows us to underline its dramatic consequences for the situation of women throughout the world. On the one hand, in the industrialized countries where women provide a greater part of the money necessary for the success of capitalism and production, as much by their paid work as by their domestic work which is still very much their responsibility. On the other hand, the North-South relationship and the mechanism put in place by the policies of the Bretton Woods system, mainly managed by international institutions such as the UN, IMF and World Bank, have more than ominous repercussions for women's lives in poor countries. Indeed, under the pretence of "good government" and "development" programmes, the effects of these institutions prove to be locally catastrophic for the condition of women ("sex tourism", limits of the number of children, women's debt becasue of microcredit, and so on).
Besides, the institutionalisation of political programmes regarding women (mainly thanks to the UN and NGOs) leads to the de-politicising of local feminist movements and the loss of their conceptual and organizational autonomy, which, in fact, destroys their radicalness and potential to change things.
Finally, it is important to measure the effects of globalization on the widescale precarization of that large part of the world's population, women, who are always more affected, whether they live in poor countries or in rich countries.
[From ClaaacG8 Journal No.1 (March 2003); translation by nmcn]

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