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Adding a gender dimension to economic decision-making - includes related article on economic aspects of women's unpaid work - Fourth World Conference on Women - Cover Story.
UN Chronicle. 1995 Jun; 32(2): p..Women hold a meagre 1 per cent of executive positions in the 1,000 largest corporations based outside the United States. The proportion is higher, at 8 per cent, in the 1,000 largest corporations in the United States, but only a handful of women hold the top-most positions, according to a recent study by the UN Secretariat Division for the Advancement of Women. The same is true for the web of powerful global and regional multi-lateral institutions, where "women have been virtually excluded from key decision-making positions and from negotiating roles", as well as national trade policy, where the proportion of women is "insignificant", asserts Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali in a 1994 report. The result: the proportion of women in economic decision-making is not only "very low", states the report, but also "a gender dimension has been absent from macroeconomic policies and decisions regarding resource distribution, wealth creation and exchange". (excerpt)
Toronto, Canada, Association for Women's Rights in Development [AWID], 2002 Aug. 8 p. (Women’s Rights and Economic Change No. 4; Facts and Issues)The trade policies of national governments and the activities of the World Trade Organization (”WTO“) have important ramifications for economic and social development throughout the world. This primer describes the WTO and the relationship between trade policies and gender, and concludes with an agenda for action. The WTO is an international organization based in Geneva that was established in 1995. It was formed to oversee the series of trade agreements that had emerged from the “Uruguay Round” of negotiations on an international trade agreement called the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs (“GATT”) and to implement a dispute settlement process regarding members’ rights and obligations under these agreements. As of January 2002, 144 countries are WTO members. Government representatives of these countries steer the activities of the organization. (excerpt)
INSTRAW NEWS. 1995; (22):12-4.Whereas international conventions and national laws provide equal opportunities for women in employment, the reality of women's lives keeps a disproportionate number of women unemployed, underemployed, and living in poverty. The UN itself, which officially is working toward equity among its employees, has a staff composed of just 32.6% women, and women comprise only 10.5% of the top end of the hierarchy. In areas where women's labor force participation has increased dramatically, women typically earn 30-40% less than men doing the same job or else their employment is limited to "traditional female" service positions. The fact that women and girls have received an inadequate education makes it extremely difficult to break the barriers of discrimination in developing countries. The empowerment of women will break the education barrier, and, when that falls, many other barriers will follow suit. Efforts are already underway to break structural barriers caused by economic and social policies. For example, a more flexible pattern of work has been proposed which will include the voluntary assumption of flexible hours, job-sharing, and part-time work. The concept of work is also being broadened to include the important human services that women traditionally provide on a volunteer basis. This will lead to a valuation of women's contribution to society which can be added to calculations of gross domestic product. Women also need protection as they attempt to eke out a living in the informal sector which has been the traditional avenue for women to earn money. This sector is not protected by law and is subject to extortion by officials and by male competitors. A variety of measures is under consideration to increase the protection of informal sector workers. Women also need protection in the conventional work place, especially as they enter fields traditionally reserved for men. These questions are important even in the context of global unemployment because these issues must be addressed or their resolution to women's disadvantage will gain the mantle of tradition.