international relation


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  • Global Gender Gap report (5min) Smart Economics (9min) Barriers to women in politics (4min) (6min) Seminar (59min) 1
  • According to 1995 Human Development Report 1993 - $23 trillion in world economic output -but household and community work could be seen as another $16 trillion -and women do $11 trillion of that In most countries women do more work than men -in Italy women’s work burden is 28% higher than men’s -in Nepal men work about 56 hours a week; women 77 According to a 1993 book on global gender issues, women: -only own about 1% of the world’s property -make up less than 5% of the heads of state and cabinet ministers -put in about 60% of all working hours -take home about 10% of all income Also, many argue that conventional IR marginalises gender issues -realism seems to be a ‘masculinist’ way of thinking -note that women are rarely ‘insiders’ in US Dept of State / Dept of Defence
  • These facts have nothing to do with the objective differences between men and women -they have to do with gender inequality Feminists define gender and sex as different things -sex, is about biology; most people are either male or female -but gender is made up of socially and culturally constructed characteristics -masculinity typically associated with power, autonomy, rationality, being in public sphere -femininity typically associated with weakness, dependency, emotionality, the private sphere -these two ideas relate to each other; to be ‘real man’ = not show feminine characteristics We live in a world where qualities associated with ‘masculine’ (rationality, ambition, strength) -are assigned higher value and status than those associated with ‘femininity’ But because these are social constructions, women may indeed act like ‘real men’ -Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher Gender is not just about women -it’s as much about men and masculinity as it is about women -for example if international politics is a masculine world -then we need to think about how different forms of masculinity are used to justify states’ foreign/military policies But gender is not just about personal characteristics -both men & women tend to ascribe more positive value to masculine than feminine characteristics -so gender is also about power relationships
  • A gender sensitive focus of world politics -seeks to bring gender inequalities into the open We do this to try and explain how the international political / economic system -reproduces an underprivileged position for women For example, much of the work done by men is visible and paid -and much of the work done by women is invisible and unpaid Structural adjustment programs by IMF/World Bank contribute to an increased ‘feminisation of poverty’ -low paid, strenuous work in export-processing zones in developing world -sex tourism -migrant domestic labour -all tend to disproportionately exploit women
  • Where are the women in global politics? -we need to look in unconventional places -secretaries, clerical workers, domestic servants, diplomats’ wives -while these roles vital to the development of foreign policy, disproportionately low- or non-paid Liberal feminists -they focus on income inequalities; human rights violations (human trafficking, rape in war) -they argue that removing legal obstacles is the key -they question what a world with more women in power would look like Post-liberal feminists identify more deeply rooted structures of patriarchy -gender inequalities still exist in societies with formal legal equality Marxist/socialist feminists look at women’s subjugation in the labour market -the ‘double burden’ of being in the paid workforce but also most unpaid domestic work Post-colonial and postmodern feminists argue that we can’t generalise about all women Post-colonial feminists focus on colonial relations of domination and subordination -based on 18th/19thC European imperialism -argues that these relations still exist today -in particular how Western knowledge portrays people in developing countries -includes ways Western feminism constructs knowledge about non-Western women -women’s subordination should be considered in cultural context; not by some universal standard
  • (1) Challenging the ‘protection myth’ Throughout history we have been told than men fight wars to protect women and children -yet in contemporary wars, 90% of casualties are civilians (majority women and children) -during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 20 000 – 35 000 women were raped -this was no accident of war; but a systematic military strategy of ethnic cleansing -Serbian babies born to Bosnian mothers (2) Gendering war Military training involves acting hyper-masculine; mocking femininity -and the idea of protecting the weak a motivator for military recruitment -e.g. US Afghan war partially justified as heroic intervention protect “helpless” Afghani women -Taliban response shaped by justification of ‘protecting’ their women from outside influence Women role in war rendered invisible -often there is great anxiety when women take combat roles in militaries -it challenges the idea of protector and protected In the US, softer masculinities prevailed in the 1990s -Bill Gates was a hero, amassing dollars rather than weapons -Bill Clinton was elected US President after refusing to serve in the Vietnam War This ended with September 11 -NYC fire-fighters and police became the new heroes -males took over news broadcasts as experts on ‘America’s new war’ -US voters began preferring male political leaders, esp. those embraced military masculinities (3) Feminist definitions of ‘security’ National security can be in tension with individual security -recall that rape is often associated with wartime -as military budgets increase, social services spending decreases; disproportionate impact women Feminists prefer to define security broadly -including reduction of physical, economic and ecological violence -and in bottom-up way – beginning with individual / community, not state / international system
  • Gendered division of labour Women in all societies are poorer than men -on average women earn 2/3 that of men, even though they work longer hours -much of women’s work is unpaid work in the home When women do rise to the top, they almost always earn less than men -even in societies where legal restrictions on employment and earning have been removed -this is called the ‘gendered division of labour’ Women disproportionately in caring professions (nursing, social services, primary education), or light machinery -this is about expectations that women are taught as young girls -occupations dominated by women tend to be the most poorly paid -gender roles assume that women are secondary wage earners -but in fact estimates suggest 1/3 of all households headed by women Consequences of gendered division of labour Women face a double burden of lower wages and expectations of household work -we don’t tend to see household labour as ‘work’, but it’s crucial to support those in waged work Textile and electronics industries hire young unmarried women as cheap labour -frequently fire them if they get married or pregnant -whenever women seen as ‘naturally’ good as at a task, it’s defined as unskilled and is poorly paid The rise of home-based employment worldwide is as part of a new ‘flexible labour force’ -these workers can be easily hired and fired and are paid below-subsistence wages
  • Inequality between men and women even leads to conflict -this is because gender inequality leads to a faster rate of population growth -women’s literacy and fertility rates strongly correlated -without education, women marry early, don’t know about contraception, and have lots of children Some argue that the world population explosion could be the biggest challenge of the 21stC
  • international relation

    1. 1. International Relations Week 5 [read Baylis et. al. (2008) chapter 15] Brendon Tagg [email_address]
    2. 2. Gender <ul><li>Jackson and Sørensen (2007) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Sex vs. gender <ul><li>Sex is about biology; gender socially constructed </li></ul><ul><li>Masculinity: power, autonomy, rationality, public sphere </li></ul><ul><li>Femininity: weakness, dependency, emotionality, the private sphere </li></ul>
    4. 6. Gender issues <ul><li>(1) Liberal feminists </li></ul><ul><li>-income inequalities; legislation </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Post-liberal feminists </li></ul><ul><li>-more deeply rooted; patriarchy </li></ul><ul><li>Marxist - ‘double burden’ </li></ul><ul><li>Post-modern </li></ul><ul><li>-don’t generalise </li></ul><ul><li>Post-colonial </li></ul><ul><li>-Western portrayals </li></ul>
    5. 7. This is a Letter to Your Beautiful Mind (Rahat Kurd, 1997) from the scarfhead you glanced at uneasily as you went past in the street today as you pretended to take aim and fire as you scornfully called out go back to iran or wherever … no, i’m not oppressed not a soldier of wrath - no, i’m not patriarchy's last victim no, i do have rights i’m not a fundamentali hey. Hey! I'm talking to you … it’s ironic how what covers my hair slows traffic stops ultraviolet rays starts cares boys Riots keeps my ears warm in winter. [1] website,
    6. 8. Gendering security <ul><li>(1) Challenging the ‘protection myth’ </li></ul><ul><li>- 90% of causalities are civilians </li></ul><ul><li>- war and systematic rape (ethnic cleansing) </li></ul><ul><li>(2) Gendering war </li></ul><ul><li>- Women in war rendered invisible </li></ul><ul><li>- Wartime masculinities </li></ul><ul><li>(3) Feminist definitions of ‘security’ </li></ul><ul><li>- National security vs. personal security </li></ul>
    7. 9. Gender and global economy <ul><li>Division of labour </li></ul><ul><li>-women earn less ;but </li></ul><ul><li>work more </li></ul><ul><li>-’natural’ professions </li></ul><ul><li>for women </li></ul><ul><li>-’double burden’ </li></ul><ul><li>-lower wages and </li></ul><ul><li>household work </li></ul>
    8. 10.
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