Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Gender justice


Published on

topic is gender justice right and development

Published in: Law
  • Be the first to comment

Gender justice

  1. 1. INDORE INSTITUTE OF LAW (Affiliated to D.A.V.V. & Bar Council of India) {{ B.A.LLB. (HONS.) Project Subject : Gender Justice Project Topic : Gender Justice Right and Development Submitted to : Asst. Prof. Taranjeet Kaur Submitted by : Avinash Rai Date-:20/05/2016 Semester : VI
  2. 2. CERTIFICATE This is to certify that I Avinash Rai has successfully completed the project on the title “ GENDER JUSTICE RIGHT AND DEVELOPMENT ” for the partial fulfillment of the DAVV norms under the supervision of Prof. Taranjeet Kaur at Indore Institute Of Law. Faculty Signature : Date:
  3. 3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT It is not possible to prepare a project report without the assistance and encouragement of other people. This is certainly an exception. On the very outset of this project I would like to extend our sincere and heartfelt obligation towards all the personages who have helped me in this endeavor. Without their active guidance, help, cooperation and encouragement, we would not have made headway in the project. I am thankful to Asst. Prof. Taranjeet Kaur .for conscientious guidance and encouragement to accomplish this assignment. I extend my gratitude to INDORE INSTITUTE OF LAW for giving me this opportunity. I also acknowledge with a deep sense of reverence, my gratitude towards my friends and members of my family who have always supported us morally as well as economically. Thanking You Avinash Rai
  4. 4. DECLARATION I hereby declare that the project titled “Gender Justice Right and Development ” is my original work. I take full responsibility for any kind of plagiarism. Signature Of Student :
  5. 5. INTRODUCTION The 1990s were a landmark in the international human rights movement. There were many positive changes in human rights and especially in women is rights. The collection of theoretical and empirical studies on which this paper is based7 reflects on these gains, and on the significance given in international policy to issues of rights and democracy in the post-Cold War era. It engages with some of the most pressing and contested of contemporary issues neoliberal policies, democracy and multiculturalism and in so doing invites debate on the nature of liberalism itself in an epoch that has seen its global ascendancy. These issues are addressed here through two perspectives, which cast contemporary liberalism in a distinctive light. First, by applying a gender lenis to the analysis of political and policy processes, and by deploying the insights gained from feminist theory, the collection of papers provides a gendered account of the ways in which liberal rights, and ideas of democracy and justice have been absorbed into the political agendas of women is movements and states. Second, the case studies contribute a cross- cultural dimension to the analysis of modern forms of rule by examining the ways in which liberalism the dominant value system in the modern world both exists in, and is resisted in, diverse cultural settings. It is a harsh reality that women have been ill-treated in every society for ages an India is no exception. The irony lies in fact that in our country where women are worshipped as shakti, the atrocities are committed against her in all sections of life. She is being looked down as commodity or as a slave, she is not robbed of her dignity and pride outside her house but she also faces ill-treatment and other atrocities within the four walls of her house. They are considered as an object of male sexual enjoyment and reproduction of children. They are real dalits (downtrodden) of the society. They are discriminated at two levels, firstly they suffer because of their gender and secondly due to grinding poverty. Women are deprived of economic resources and are dependent on men for their living. Women works are often confined to domestic sphere, she had to do all house hold works, which are not recognized and unpaid. In modern times many women are coming out to work but has to shoulder the double responsibility; one she has to work where she is employed and secondly she also has to do all the house hold works, moreover, she is last to be considered and first to be fired as she is considered to be less productive than her counterpart. Her general status in the family From the cradle to grave, females are under the clutches of numerous evils acts as discriminations, oppressions, violence, within the family, at the work places an din the society. I illustrate my proposal by discussing the injustice involved in the gendered division of labor, which is one of the most important, yet philosophically disputed, gender issues in the developed world. Some liberal egalitarians contest that a freely chosen gendered division of labor is unjust.3 Others believe that in order to know whether particular outcomes are gender just we need to pay attention to the context of people’s choices, to the processes of preference formation and to the cumulative effects of particular choices. Some of the latter even doubt that liberal egalitarianism has the theoretical resources to recognize the gendered nature of the gendered division of labor.
  6. 6. MEANING Gender inequities throughout the world are among the most all-pervasive forms of inequality. Gender equality concerns each and every member of the society and forms the very basis of a just society and hence, the issue of „gender justice‟ is of enormous magenta and of mammoth ramification engulfing an all-embracing and illimitable canvas. In the midnight of August 15, 1947, when India awoke to “life and freedom”, most of its 170 million women scarcely knew what the „Tryst with Destiny‟ was all about. Evictimps of poverty, ignorance and oppressive social institutions, they hardly knew their destiny and who controlled it. However, the stalwarts who led India to its independence were aware that if the new India of their dreams was to become a reality and not remain only a figment of imagination, it would need social engineering on a massive scale, in respect of the backward and oppressed sections of the society and above all, its women. Swami Vivekananda had aptly remarked. The crucial question that arises for deliberation is : Have the women been able to reap the benefits provided for them under the Constitution of India? The answer, unfortunately, is not encouraging. There is still a long way to go to achieve the goals enshrined in the Constitution. In spite of special constitutional guarantees and other legislations, crimes against women in the form of child marriages, rape, dowry, practice of Sati, trafficking of the girl child, prostitution, domestic violence and sexual harassment are on the increase. The review of the disabilities and constraints on women, which stem from socio-cultural institutions, indicates that the majority of women are still very far from enjoying the rights and opportunities guaranteed to them by the Constitution. Justice K. Ramaswamy has also stated Indian women have suffered and are suffering discrimination in silence. Self sacrifice and self-denial are their nobility and fortitude and yet they have been subjected to all inequities, indignities, inequality and discrimination. It is indeed ironical that when Indian mythology places women on a very high pedestal and they are worshipped and honored Goddess of learning is Saraswati of wealth Laxmi of power Parvati and of energy or shakti Durga we show no concernfor her honour and her dignity. It is a sorry reflection mirroring the attitude of indifference of the society which results in a total negation of the human rights of women in which gender justice nosedives. Despite this regression in the social and moral values, there is still a ray of hope in the midst of the darkness surrounding the realization of women's rights. Time and again the Indian judiciary has played a pro-active role by their positive interpretation of the various.
  7. 7. The Scope of Gender Injustice It is hard to dispute that women and men are equally entitled to just treatment and that, when someone suffers injustice because of their sex, they are a victim of gender injustice. But the exact definition of gender injustice and therefore the scope of gender injustice are contentious matters. Some forms of gender injustice are easy to identify. In many countries some kinds of violence against women are particularly high, often women receive lower pay than men for the same work and in some countries women still do not have legal rights equal to those that men hold. It is not difficult to see the problem in these cases. Widely endorsed conceptions of liberal egalitarian justice uphold people’s moral rights to dignified treatment and physical integrity, to equal compensation for equal work and to equality in front of the law. If those directly responsible for the above injustices are partly motivated by hatred or prejudice against women, the victims of violence and discrimination do not just happen to be women – rather, they become victims of injustice because they are women. Hence, these examples are clear illustrations of gender injustice. Other cases are a bit more difficult to describe as gender injustice or, indeed, as injustice full stop. Take, for example, women’s “second shift.” Significant numbers of women worldwide simultaneously hold full-time jobs and do most of the work that goes into maintaining households, raising children and caring for disabled or elderly family members. They are clearly shouldering more than their male partners.19 Even worse, in case of divorce, women who used to be full-time homemakers and caregivers often find it hard to enter, or reenter, the labor market, and are much more likely than their former partners to fall into poverty – especially when they have children.20 But these women seem to owe their situation to voluntary choices: neither laws, nor physical coercion, nor, strictly speaking, a lack of alternatives, forces them to take on double shifts (since it is possible to live without a male partner and without dependents, or to go on strike with respect to all but the most urgent care tasks). Moreover, some women say they enjoy being able to discharge several social roles successfully. Why are they then subject to gender injustice? One way to explain why is by assuming that people become double shifters as a result of adapting their preferences to fit gender norms and to avoid other types of hardship. Women have traditionally been, and still are, expected to meet the material and psychological needs of their nearest and dearest; and leading a solitary life, or going on strike, can be emotionally very costly21 for most people. When alternatives are very undesirable, we often adapt our preferences to the status quo in order to make our circumstances more bearable. Action guided by adaptive preferences, while not as morally problematic as coercion, should not count as entirely voluntary. But it is possible to account for the injustice of the double shift even without reference to adaptive preferences. A widely acknowledged feature of a just society is that it allows its members to share the benefits and the burdens of living together fairly. That is, in a just society nobody has to systematically take on more burdens than others – unless they freely choose to and are offered proper compensation. Nor is anybody entitled by default to more benefits than anybody else. The systematic overburdening and denial of benefits that others enjoy to some individuals because they belong to a particular sex are forms of injustice. Even if the double shifters in our example were to take on the excessive burdens voluntarily, the injustice
  8. 8. comes from a systematic failure to fully compensate them, or even to offer such compensation.22 Moreover, their male partners systematically enjoy more benefits thanks to the social cooperation structured by women’s double shift: These men have extra free time, better access to economic well-being and fewer overall responsibilities. Gender justice requires that nobody should be expected to carry higher overall burdens, or enjoy overall lesser benefits than others, without due compensation, simply because of their gender. But think now of cases in which women and men shoulder the same overall burdens and enjoy the same overall level of benefit by conforming to gendered lifestyles. A good example is a heterosexual family, intact over time, and adopting an equal, but gendered, division of labor. This may come in the more extreme traditional form, with the man as a full-time breadwinner and the woman as a full-time homemaker. Or it may take a more modern shape, with the man holding a full-time job and doing some housework and care and the woman working part time while also managing and doing the main bulk of the housework and care. If both partners work the same amount of time and enjoy equal benefits, is there any injustice at stake? The answer for which I argue below is that no injustice is involved in such an arrangement if the society in which this couple lives does not make their arrangement – or, indeed, any other kind of gendered division of labor – the least costly23 lifestyle option. In other words, this is not a case of injustice provided the couple in question would find it no more costly to share paid and unpaid work equally. This claim, I believe, accounts well for the intuition that all is fine if people voluntarily choose to divide work as the couple above, but not if they end up with this arrangement due to the pressure of gender norms coming in the form of individuals’ expectations or constraints of the labor market. The last example also raises a deeper worry, related to the possible meaning of making a truly free choice in an environment structured by gender norms. Think, first, of a world where there is no distinguishable gendered pattern of dividing work in society in general and between family members in particular: There is as much variation in the paid/unpaid ratio between spouses as there currently is, say, eye-color variation. In this case, indeed, nothing seems to be wrong with the particular division of labor of this couple – in fact, it is not a gendered division of labor and the couple is not a traditional couple. (Because gender plays no role in the way people divide their labor in this world.) In contrast, imagine that the couple in question lives in a society where most men hold full-time jobs and most women do the bulk of domestic work. Also, imagine the spouses in our example like this arrangement because it is adequate to their personalities. The lingering worry is that the very fact that a gendered arrangement is adequate to the kind of people they are may be a sign of background injustice. Perhaps they had their personalities shaped such that gendered lifestyles are the least costly for them. Perhaps the gendering happened as early as infancy, well before they could decide which influences to allow into their lives. (This problem is inevitably connected to the question of what is nature and what is nurture in gender, and I will return to it in section 6.) The principle of gender justice that I propose is capable of accounting for cases where the injustice lies at the very deep level of determining agency by shaping individuals.
  9. 9. A Principle of Gender Justice A gendered division of labor, even when it burdens women and men equally, is unjust if it is set in a social context that endorses gender norms that make some choices cheaper for women and other choices cheaper for men. The pressure such norms put on people casts doubt on individuals’ freedom to choose certain valuable elements from the lifestyle of the other gender. Sometimes this happens because gender norms make the costs of such elements prohibitive. Even when the costs are not prohibitive, and individuals are free to choose these elements, gender norms compromise the equality of women’s and men’s access to what they have reason, and sometimes choose, to pursue. Before proposing a principle of gender justice, let me explain how the pressure of gender norms works and what is problematic about it. There are three different ways in which gender norms can interfere with just outcomes through limiting individual choice,25 all illustrated by the “glass-ceiling” effect in women’s careers. First, there is increasing evidence that much gender bias operates at the unconscious, and hence not directly controllable, level.26 Even individuals who consciously reject gender norms tend to unconsciously evaluate women and men according to different criteria and to expect members of each gender to do better in those respects that are traditionally associated with their gender; this is called implicit bias. Often, implicit bias puts people at a net disadvantage due to their gender. Moreover, we are ourselves unconsciously sensitive to gender norms and actually perform worse in environments in which we are expected, on the basis of our gender, to be less successful; this is called stereotype threat. It is not very difficult to see the unfairness of implicit bias and stereotype threat and of the ensuing differential treatment of women and men: They invite unjustified discrimination. Additionally, the imposition of different standards of evaluation of performance on women and men unjustifiably limits the scope of occupational choice, or at least the equality of access, for some. So, part of the explanation of the glass-ceiling effect lies at the level of unconscious discrimination, due to gender norms, in evaluating women. A woman has to prove herself more than she would had she been a man. In order to be deemed equally good as men, women must pay the higher cost of superior performance. If one adds the stereotype threat into the picture, the costs – especially psychological – are even higher, since extra self- confidence is needed to overcome the drawbacks of being perceived as inferior women are unable to pay this price, and their freedom of occupational choice is thereby limited; others are able to pay it but their access to top jobs is unequal to men’s.27 Second, it is costly for individuals to frustrate gender expectations (for instance, most men would be mortified to appear in public wearing dresses and makeup). This is particularly true when dealing with the expectations of people we care about (often gay people find it hardest to come out to their own families) and even more so when the expectations are internalized (the urge to please others is more difficult to resist when one’s self-perception as an acceptable individual depends on pleasing others). I return to the relevance of these distinctions in section 6. Once someone starts to systematically behave in ways that conform to others’ expectations, it becomes increasingly
  10. 10. hard for that person to resist them, for two reasons: (a) because it is subjectively hard to break patterns of action that have become part of one’s regular lifestyle, and (b) perhaps more importantly, because patterned behavior generates legitimate expectations. Being always there to meet the essential needs of the nearest and dearest, as women are expected to do, or to earn the living of the family, as men are expected to do, results in duties that cannot be dissolved at short notice or with little effort. Both habit and acquired duties curtail one’s freedom of choice. A second part of the explanation of the glass-ceiling effect is in the way that gender norms shape the family. A woman with dependents who wants to rise to the top of her profession will have to pay higher material costs than she would had she been a man: She is the main caregiver in her family and so either needs to work harder overall or else she needs to counter social expectations and to overcome habit in order to transfer her care duties to somebody else. The cost, for women, of having a successful career is often prohibitive, and hence they enjoy lesser substantial freedom of choice in this respect than men do and/or unequal access. Third, external pressure in the form of gender expectations can generate what economists call “statistical discrimination,” which is a structural feature of work markets. If most people from your social group conform to (gender) expectations, others will reasonably predict that you will conform as well, even if in fact you will not, and will treat you accordingly. So, for example, if enough women put less time than most men into advancing their careers because they dedicate their time to meeting essential needs of the nearest and dearest, it may be reasonable for potential employers to expect any woman who has needy dependents to do so. This is the last part of the explanation of the glass- ceiling effect, consisting in how gender norms structure women’s relationship to the labor market. Even if a woman has generally resisted gendered expectations in her family life, and even if such expectations play no role in evaluating her performance,28 prudent employers will be reluctant to promote her. Employers have limited knowledge, and it is statistically more likely that female employees will lead a gendered lifestyle that prevents them from performing as efficiently as a similarly positioned man. In other words, gender norms also make the costs of promoting women that employers have to pay higher than those of promoting men. This results in market mechanisms that limit people’s opportunities, and therefore the scope of individual choice, on the basis of their gender. When is the limitation of individual choice, resulting from social norms, unjust? It cannot always be so: Much of the way in which we manage ourselves and our relationships with others is shaped by social norms and, arguably, this is often for the better. It is costly to frustrate social norms, but this does not involve any intrinsic injustice; in the case of general norms everybody’s choice is limited in the same ways and to the same extent. Moreover, some of the general social norms that curtail individuals’ freedom block access to things that are not valuable. One problem with the majority of gendered norms is that, in general, they make it more costly for women than for men to obtain certain valuable things such as fulfilling careers and self-esteem, and the social recognition that comes with them. Indeed, much of the feminist work on justice reflects this fact, and an analytically powerful way to understand gender itself is by reference to its essential connection to social advantage or disadvantage.29 However, this is not all there is to object to gender norms. Nonhierarchical gender norms can
  11. 11. also entail injustice.30 In the example of gendered but equally burdening and rewarding lifestyles, gendered expectations may well be as costly for men as they are for women: They make women’s access to fulfilling work very costly and make equally costly men’s access to fulfilling relationships. Imagine that fulfilling work and fulfilling relationships were equally valuable and received equal social recognition. Even in this case – highly unrealistic as a paradigm of the costs associated with gender in real life! – there is a problem with gender norms They render people’s access to some central components of most, if not all, individuals’ ideas of a good life excessively, and unequally, costly; they oppress both women and men, although in different respects. But we cannot choose our sex at trivial costs, nor can we choose how gender norms are to influence our lives. Hence, in a just society nobody should be burdened by gendered norms in the pursuit of things as important as access to work and close relationships – even if everybody was to carry an overall equal burden. One’s gender should not block access to any of these, or make it either more or less costly than they would be for somebody similar in all respects31 but gender.
  12. 12. Women's Rights & Gender Justice Gender inequality makes women in most societies poorer. Women face more obstacles than men in labor markets, receive lower wages for the same work, dominate in the informal economy and have less access to credit, land, time, education, and other productive resources. In most parts of the world poor women do the caring, feeding and cleaning for the family, treating for the sick and dying – particularly in this era of HIV & AIDS, as well as earning small amounts of cash through labor-intensive activities. As farmers, workers, heads of households and community leaders they make productive and essential contributions to their community and country. As such, poverty eradication strategies must see women as active agents and not intrinsically vulnerable. For if women are vulnerable it is only because they have been made vulnerable – legally, economically, culturally, sexually, structurally – for centuries. The fight against poverty therefore requires equality and justice for women. Sufficient income is necessary to lowering poverty, but getting communities out of poverty will depend on women’s leadership, access to education, time, land, healthcare and credit, as well as women enjoying their reproductive and sexual rights, freedom from violence, and equal rights in the family and in society. Feminist Task Force The Feminist Task Force (FTF) was launched in March 2005 when leaders of international women’s rights groups gathered in New York City for the annual meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The global launch marked the start of a new alliance aimed at ending poverty among women and putting gender equality at the core of poverty eradication. Established under the umbrella of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), the Feminist Task Force calls for “Gender Equality to End Poverty.
  13. 13. Gender Justice, Development and Rights The end of the Cold War signaled a more confident assertion of economic and political liberalism, but also a greater emphasis on human rights. In the 1990s a wave of UN Summits sought to place issues of democracy, justice and rights on the development agenda. In the context of the worldwide process of democratic consolidation that characterized the decade, a transnational zed women's movement was able to focus its attention on issues of rights and democracy and sought to take advantage of a favorable policy environment to press for a greater. Issues of democracy, rights and justice were both revitalized and radicalized in this process, as social movements used the language of rights to press governments for social reforms. If the 1990s were an extraordinary period for international policy making and standard setting, they also saw substantial legal and political changes at the national level. The papers commissioned under this project analyse the implications of these political and legal developments, looking at how, within contrasting national contexts, women's movements engaged the language of rights and the practice of democracy with varying degrees of success. While they show how democracy and legal reform have the potential for achieving greater gender equality. The commissioned papers explore, from a gender perspective, how issues of rights and democracy have been taken up in a variety of regional contexts-Chile, Iran, Malaysia, Peru, Poland and South Africa, among others. The papers fall under three thematic areas. The first thematic area is broadly concerned with the interface between basic needs, social rights and the delivery of welfare. It considers how the currently dominant economic agenda is being articulated with social policies and with the "care economy", and the extent to which this has enhanced or undermined women's capabilities and social rights in different national settings. Rights of any kind depend on prior political conditions. Without political and civil rights there is no guarantee that other rights, even when they are inscribed in laws and constitutions, may be made effective. The absence of powers to make governments accountable and responsive to their citizens is one of the greatest obstacles to rights-based agendas, and those rights. The second thematic area therefore focuses on the political arena and the constraints on women's representation in political parties and in national legislatures. It also assesses the role, capacity and strategies of national women's movements during periods of regime change, their success in cultivating a constituency and in forging alliances with other political forces. A related, and perhaps the most politically sensitive, issue surrounding rights-based strategies is whether and how such strategies might find a universal application without denying cultural specificity. This topic is dealt with under the third thematic area of the project. Multiculturalism represents an important recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples to their cultural identity.
  14. 14. How different is the present from the past The issue of the extent to which family relations have changed feeds into the current question about whether the “crisis in the family” is a crisis, and whether or not it is likely to be mortal. Recent debates about the family have revealed a split between those who claim that the current diversity of family forms is nothing new and those who say that there is a breakdown in the family and the origins of this breakdown are to be located in a collapse of value systems. In the light of this division, it is necessary to try and specify what, if any, are the changes that contemporary families are facing that were not faced by families in the past. One of the key determinants of family forms and household composition is demography. Fertility and mortality rates are crucial in this regard, and it is clear that current levels of population growth, combined with improvements in mother and infant mortality rates, are unprecedented. However, there are gross disparities between countries with regard to population growth and mortality rates—both of which are closely correlated with, but not straightforwardly determined by, economic opportunity and welfare provision. Improved life expectancy, particularly in industrialized countries, has altered household composition, as some individuals now have to care for elderly parents as well as children. In some industrialized countries, changes in age at marriage and improved participation in the labor market for women, as well as other factors, have led to a substantial rise in the number of cohabiting couples and single-person households. However, these increases, at least for the United Kingdom, are the result of comparisons with data from earlier decades in the twentieth century. Before the 1800s, significant numbers of individuals never married and either lived alone or with other single persons. Cohabiting may not have been common in the past for the middle and upper classes, but it was certainly very common for working class women and men. It does seem evident that divorce rates are rising, but for many developing countries there are no good data on divorce rates for earlier periods. Modern statistics on divorce rates have to be correlated with changing legal and customary definitions of marriage, in order to be certain that divorce rates are not rising simply because marriage rates are. Current debates on the family in Europe and the United States stress that divorce has an adverse effect on children, and many argue that children from “broken homes” are likely to do less well at school and exhibit antisocial behavior of a variety of sorts. However, divorce is not the sole cause of broken homes and stepfamilies. In the past in Europe— and at the present time in some developing countries in spite of improved life expectancy—many families are broken by death. Significant numbers of those who are widowed do remarry—although widowers remarry much more quickly than widows—and establish new households. In many parts of the world at the moment, parental death and orphan hood are on the increase because of armed conflict. Significant and unprecedented changes have been brought about in family forms and household composition through migration and urbanization. Labor migration has meant that many households, particularly in developing countries, are de facto, if not de jure, headed by women who have to provide for their children and for household reproduction, often in the absence of regular or substantial remittances. Female labor migration has increased markedly in recent years, and this is tied to the opportunities for women both in the informal sector of the urban
  15. 15. economy and in wage labor in certain enterprises, including textiles and electronics. Women who migrate to urban areas often leave one or more of their children with their own mother, thus creating households without resident wage-earners. In parts of Africa, for example, households comprising grandparents and grandchildren are on the increase not only because of labor migration but also because of the ravages of AIDS. The size of urban centers has grown massively all over the world during this century.5 Increasing numbers of individuals are dependent on waged employment or informal sector activities for their livelihoods. The very rapid rate of population growth in the developing nations has meant that fewer people are able to earn their living on the land, and resources of all kinds are under increasing pressure. Urban poverty is now a phenomenon on a large scale; whether it is worse than the poverty of nineteenth century London or nineteenth century Shanghai is not known. What is clear is that immoderation and deprivation are on the increase, and that in this process women and children—in part because of their relative disadvantage in labor markets—are especially vulnerable. The large numbers of children living on the streets in cities all over the world—combined with rising crime, increasing substance abuse and lack of education—are symbolic for many of the crisis in the family. The size of populations and the scale of migration and urbanization are without precedent but, given the effect of the market and wage labor rates on family forms, a further factor needs consideration. The extent of globalization and the degree of market integration have provided a political and economic context for the current changes in family/household relations that is quite unlike anything that has preceded it. Progressive market integration has led to increasing differentiation both between and within countries. Processes of social and economic differentiation have intensified along lines of gender, race and class with potentially disastrous effects for certain groups within populations.
  16. 16. Social Sector Restructuring and Social Rights If states have a duty to create the material and institutional prerequisites that can best secure the enjoyment of human rights, as the theoretical reflections by Nussbaum, Elson and Phillips suggest, then an important arena of positive state action must be that of social provision. Needless to say, the nature and extent of state responsibility for social provision is highly variable, even among the bloc of countries that established welfare states in the twentieth century. Nordic countries and France, for example, retain a commitment to more universalist, citizenship-based entitlements, while in other parts of continental Europe the welfare state evolved along more corporatist lines where social entitlements derived principally from employment (with its in-built gender bias) rather than from universalist principles of citizenship as in the Nordic model. Moreover, both contrast with the residua list model that is dominant in the United States, where social entitlements derive from proven need. Thus while the postwar Western welfare states expressed rather similar objectives, they differ(end) both in terms of ambition and how they did it (Espying-Andersen 1996:6). Moreover, as these same welfare states seek to adapt to the pressures of globalization, they do so differently, largely because of institutional legacies, inherited system characteristics, and the vested interests that these cultivate (Espying-Andersen 1996:6). A recent ILO research project, for example, found certain regional clusters and marked heterogeneity in recent welfare policy developments with a striking degree of country-specific variation (Abler and Standing 2000:112). Beyond the institutionalized welfare states, in the developing and post-transition countries, there is again considerable diversity of approach as resource constraints and different political and institutional histories bear upon the policy environment and influence the impact and application of neoliberal agendas. The three case studies in part two document how systems of welfare provision are being restructured in very different regional contexts. While a fuller picture of welfare reform in these diverse regions would require far more comprehensive comparative empirical research than is currently available, what is clear even from the existing studies of social policy is the absence of a uniform response to the pressures of globalization. Ironically the region with a history of extensive social policiesóCentral and Eastern Europe also appears to be the one where there have been significant policy reversals, even though the authors of the above-mentioned ILO study find the notion of asocial dumping, or abandoning welfare commitments in response to globalization, inadequate when it comes to describing the social policy reforms undertaken in the region. They argue that while there has been some privatization (for example, education and housing), the social expenditure ratio increased rather than declined in most countries, and that various taxes have been raised. A good number of countries in the region appear, therefore, to be moving toward different Western European welfare state models rather than toward the residua list, liberal model the outcomes having been largely determined by political battles in which supranational and national actors were intertwined in various coalitions. These findings do not take into account how social policy reforms have impacted differently on men and women in the region. This is, however, a common concern running through the case studies in part two of this project, which probe the tensions between women is economic and social rights and the ongoing
  17. 17. economic and social policy reforms. In some contexts (for example, Poland and Chile), these are threatening to undermine the gains that have already been made, while elsewhere (such as India) they deny even the prospect of the progressive realization of a non-discriminatory system of decent jobs and public services, and broad-based social security systems. In the case of Poland, which is considered by the ILO study to be moving toward an institutionalized welfare state model, women have experienced a severe erosion of their social rights according to Jacqueline Heine and Stephaney Ported. It is appropriate, therefore, to ask what kind of an institutionalized welfare state model is being created in Poland if women is entitlements have been so undermined in the process? Heine and Ported document a large number of legal and policy changes introduced in Poland since the transition to democracy and the advent of a market economy that have eroded longstanding social rights that primarily benefited women. These reforms have taken liberal principles of autonomy, individualism and indeed equality as the justification for stripping women of what in Poland are called their especial privileges. At the same time severe cuts in the state budget have dealt a heavy blow to the public provision of infant care and childcare services, while economic rationalization and privatization have led to the widespread closure of preschools and subsidized infant care facilities previously provided by enterprises. Such privileges as paid leave to take care of sick children and entitlements to free or subsidized childcare services might be argued as necessary mechanisms to ensure a more level playing field for those who are otherwise disadvantaged. In the emerging model of welfare, comprehensive access to social rights, particularly to social security, is increasingly dependent on economic status: only those who are economically active, whether as employees or employers, have full access to these rights. But in Poland, as in many other former socialist countries, women is official labor force participation rate has fallen since the collapse of state socialism, while women are by far the most severely affected by unemployment, particularly long-term unemployment state of affairs that reflects, among other things, the inadequacy of affordable infant care and childcare facilities, as well as hiring preferences that favor men. This has coincided with an increasing gender gap in wages in many sectors; it is estimated that women earn on average 20 to 30 per cent less than men who have similar educational qualifications and experience. Hence many social benefits (pensions, health insurance and so on) that used to be universal rights in socialist regimes are now available only to those enjoying direct access to the formal labor market, which, if not directly discriminating against women, indirectly places many at a disadvantage revealing a male bias in social policy (Lewis 1992; Elson and Chagatai 2000). The 1999 reform of the Polish social security system, which introduced funded pension plans, has further reinforced the link between the level of income and social citizenship. While previously access to a state pension depended on a system of mutual aid and was an automatic right for both men and women, it now depends much more strictly on past earnings and ability to contribute on a monthly basis to a pension fund. Hence women, who constitute 75 per cent of those who earn below-average wages and the majority of the unemployed, have had their entitlements curtailed because of their marginal economic status. Yet Heine and Portentous account of social and political citizenship in Poland ends on an optimistic note. There is
  18. 18. mounting criticism of the growing inequalities in Poland, including a distinct feminist critique that underscores the dangers of constructing a masculine democracy. Concrete proposals have been put forward to give women a genuine voice and presence in democratic fore, such as a recent legislative bill to establish quotas for women on electoral slates in anticipation of the 2002 legislative elections. The prohibition on termination of pregnancy in 1993 was a reminder of how deeply gender-biased liberal principles of individualism, autonomy and the separation of the public and the private realm can be in their application, yet it may have instilled a sense of urgency about the need to increase women is representation in the political arena. This is all the more necessary if women are not to lose out in the process of democratic consolidation and integration into the European Union, as was true in the early phase of the transition process. A somewhat similar trend toward the privatization of social security has been underway in Chile for far longer, as Veronica Schild shows. The centre-left coalition known as the Concertos An, which came to power in Chile in 1990 and has survived two elections since then, was heir to a military dictatorship (1973ñ1989) that launched the first experiment in neoliberal policies in Latin America. The regime of General Augusto Pinochet, notorious for the human rights violations committed in its efforts to crush opposition, set about implementing a programmer of radical social and economic reform that achieved average growth rates of 7 per cent over a decade and a half. The Concertos An governments continued to pursue integration into the global economy through orthodox macroeconomic policies. These have sustained economic growth but social inequalities have deepened (ECLAC 1998). There has, however, been a distinct shift in both the language (growth with equity) and the social policy package since the Pinochet years. Child demonstrates how the social policies of the 1990s represent both a change and a continuation of the reforms implemented during the Pinochet era. Perhaps the most significant element of continuity is the retreat from the universalist principles of provision characteristic of the pre-Pinochet period with the turn to targeted social assistance. Developed under the dictatorship, these targeted programmers were judged by many commentators as successful in mitigating the worst effects of the adjustment process (Angell and Graham 1995). Under the coalition, these programmers were refined and extended and, together with employment generation schemes, a 36 per cent rise in the minimum wage and buoyant growth, a million people were taken out of poverty by 1993. However, the high rates of income concentration have remained constant. Chile is one of the most unequal countries in a region known for its skewed income distribution (ECLAC 1998). An important lesson from comparative social policy is that the countries that have more equitable income distribution are not only those with high levels of social welfare provision accessible to all, but are also those where the professional and middle classes have a stake in these services that is, they help fund them through taxation and they use them (Deacon 2000). Targeting and means testing separate the ultra poor from the rest of the population, thereby deepening social divisions between the needy and those who are expected to turn to the market for social services (Mackintosh 2000). The Chilean model is also associated with an extensive privatization of social security. Initiated under the military dictatorship, the privatization of the public pension system proceeded on the basis of largely unsubstantiated
  19. 19. claims about the superiority of the private system compared to all other policy options.23 The ConcertaciÛn governments did not undertake any major institutional changes in social policy, although taxes were raised to increase social expenditure (Huber and Stephens 2000). As in the case of Poland, a major drawback of the funded pension plan is its in-built gender bias. In a system where benefits are calculated strictly based on contributions, women tend to be at a disadvantage as their incomes are generally less than minis and their working lives shorter and more interrupted. This is indicative of a broader problem, namely that privatized systems have not favoured redistribution and seem to have exacerbated existing inequalities. There are some novel features in the Chilean system of social provisioning, in particular the role that NGOs are playing in the delivery of welfare. However, while there clearly are some positive aspects to this involvement, Schild argues that it depends upon an unpaid or poorly paid and unregulated workforce of female extension workers. Ultimately what this means is that claims for more inefficient social spending, through a partnership of state and civil society, rely on what Elson refers to as the unspoken and invisible safety net of women is unpaid work (pp. 5ñ6), whether in their capacity as mothers and wives or as NGO and community workers. Furthermore, there are questions as to the adequacy of the coverage and the quality of service delivered by this patchwork of NGOs with their poorly paid staff and army of volunteers. Child is also pessimistic about the political implications of the new model of social provisioning. Neoliberals in Chile has been associated with the demobilization of women is long-standing grassroots activities and their selective institutionalization into NGOs competing for government funds, imbued in a neoliberal ethos that is focused on individual autonomy, choice and responsibility. There is little in her account to suggest that the top-down mode of delivering social services has been replaced by an empowering bottom-up or ìdemand-drivenî process of welfare provisioning over which citizens and communities exercise meaningful control. On the contrary, project choices and designs, she argues, are often decided by officials in SERNAM (Service National de la Muter, the ministry for women) and other government ministries, with standardized programmers that are not tailored to the wishes or needs of the communities criticisms that are frequently leveled against government provision.
  20. 20. Democratization and the Politics of Gender The central instrument for the protection of rights has been, and must remain, the state. As women is movements turned their attention in the 1990s to rights issues, they were drawn into an engagement with the state as rights activists and as participants in government. Whether states advance or curtail women is rights cannot be explained in terms of any single variable, although democratic institutions and procedures are generally assumed to allow greater voice and presence to social forces pressing for reform. Yet, while many countries now identify themselves as democracies, and have established institutions of representative government, the degree to which democracy has been consolidated and institutionalized is highly variable. As the case studies in this section bear out, in some countries even a minimal democracy has yet to be institutionalized. Even where elections have been held, political parties often remain weakly institutionalized, all too often serving as instruments to secure the rule of kleptocratic oligarchies and discriminatory ethnic groups. In much of the world, the institutions for popular participation are weakly embedded in society, civil rights are not protected, and political parties lack strongly articulated social programmers. It is in the context of such states, some semi authoritarian or soft dictatorships, others where institutions of liberal representative democracy are grafted onto highly fragmented societies, that the three case studies are positioned.25 Yet in these diverse contexts women have in recent years become a visible political force both as individuals and as a social group, even under conditions that deny them full or indeed at times any political voice and representation. Where the latter occurs, however, there is a danger that as womenís movements are co-opted by states, they lose their ability to represent their constituency and to advance programmers of radical reform. Parvin Paidar analyzes the efforts by women is movements in Iran to contest prevailing interpretations of women is rights by the repressive Islamist regime that has been in power for more than two decades. In particular she considers the implications for women of the ways in which the nascent reform movement has sought to democratize political life by strengthening and working through some of the country is existing formal democratic institutions. The revolutionary Islamist forces, which took power through a popular uprising that toppled the ruling monarchy in 1979, very quickly developed into an authoritarian state, annihilating or driving its diverse opponents into exile. In its first decade the most politically and socially repressive period in twentieth-century Iran the state took upon itself the task of transforming social and gender relations in conformity with its re-interpreted doctrine of Shiía Islam. The erosion of popular support for the hard-line state was an important factor behind the emergence of the reform movement in 1997. Authoritarianism, economic stagnation and rising levels of unemployment, corruption and misappropriation of funds, and the states zealous attempts to regulate the private and social lives of citizens have combined to erode the support the Islamic Republic initially enjoyed. This has created a crisis of legitimacy for the hard-liners who still control the key apparatuses of the state (the judiciary and the theocratic establishment). The 1980 Constitution of the Islamic Republic combines Islamic theocracy with some forms of
  21. 21. democratic accountability: the political stalemate of recent years is in some ways a reflection of the tensions between these two irreconcilable principles that the Constitution has unsuccessfully tried to square. While the embryonic reformist movement had to confront formidable obstacles placed in its way by hard-liners in the regime who used (and abused) all of their constitutional powers to undermine it, it managed to some degree, to change the terms of the debate. Paidar argues that despite the fragility of this rather broad coalition, the reform movement had the potential to initiate positive political change. This was largely because of the strength of the movement, which was not simply manifest in electoral terms. Across the country, the athirst for citizenship and participation (Najmabadi 2000) became apparent on an unprecedented scale as a widespread and diffuse grassroots movement developed, involving significant participation of women. This diffuseness made it difficult for any particular current to monopolize or to undermine it.
  22. 22. CONCLUSION In much of the world, the institutions for popular participation are weakly embedded in society, civil rights are not protected, and political parties lack strongly articulated social programmers. It is in the context of such states, some semi authoritarian or soft dictatorships, others where institutions of liberal representative democracy are grafted onto highly fragmented societies, that the three case studies are positioned.25 Yet in these diverse contexts women have in recent years become a visible political force both as individuals and as a social group, even under conditions that deny them full or indeed at times any political voice and representation. Where the latter occurs, however, there is a danger that as womenís movements are co-opted by states, they lose their ability to represent their constituency and to advance programmers of radical reform. Parvin Paidar analyzes the efforts by women is movements in Iran to contest prevailing interpretations of women is rights by the repressive Islamist regime that has been in power for more than two decades. In particular she considers the implications for women of the ways in which the nascent reform movement has sought to democratize political life by strengthening and working through some of the country is existing formal democratic institutions. The revolutionary Islamist forces, which took power through a popular uprising that toppled the ruling monarchy in 1979, very quickly developed into an authoritarian state, annihilating or driving its diverse opponents into exile. In its first decade the most politically and socially repressive period in twentieth-century Iran the state took upon itself the task of transforming social and gender relations in conformity with its re-interpreted doctrine of Shiía Islam.