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Feminism & Capitalism
Conditions of women
economic
Unrecognized/unvalued- not included in accounts
(household chores, paid labors)
Undervalued - esp if compared to men
Political - no voice; no participation in electoral processes (ie
historically)
Cultural - expected to serve men, subservient to men; relegated to
household concerns; discriminated
Hence, women
Double or multiple burden
Discriminated
2nd class citizen
Conditions of women (in the world)
Access to education
Employment opportunities
Reproductive health & rights
Maternal health
Gender-based violence
Child marriage
Female genital mutilation
Water and sanitation
Gender equality
Capitalism
An economic system where production is primary for
exchange
Marxist arguments:
The contradiction between laborers and
capitalists
Labor theory - only human labor is counted that
which produced directly the commodity (ie in
factory)
Capitalism -
Did not invent women
Even before (modern capitalism), there is already women issues as
today.
What capitalism did was to HIDE this in the discourse of
REPRODUCTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE DIVIDE. In capitalism,
Reproduction - is not valued, discriminated, not counted
Production - preferred, valued, counted
REPRODUCTION WAS RELEGATED TO WOMEN
(CULTURALLY, POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY, ETC…)
Hence, in capitalism -
50% of the world’s labor is automatically underpaid or less
paid
The survival of the workers who are less paid are not the
obligation of the capitalists but the households
The training of the laborers/factory workers are not with the
factory but households
The survival of humanity is not from paid work but
households - unpaid work of women, children, elderly
The households
Understanding Household
Family – humans, usually kin-based
Household – humans + non-human resources;
some kin-based, some not
Non human resources:
- material (e.g., land, house)
- non-material resources (e.g., biological
reproduction, care-giving, rights and
responsibilities)
Roles of HH
Production of lives
Survival of members
Household is an
– Economic unit – production and consumption unit
– Decision-making unit
– Resource-allocating unit
– Basic cultural arena/unit
– Base for social movements
The Hh
The most neglected pillar of capitalist economy.
The household – with all its human and non-human
elements – is the smallest unit of the capitalist
world-system. In its power conflicts, status
hierarchies, and inequalities, the household mirrors
the structural contradictions of the world-system in
which it is nested (Wallerstein 1983).
Dialectically, the household is also that space which
provides safe haven and nurture for individuals who
are assaulted by that crisis-ridden world (Salleh
1999).
Household & Global economy
Hh is the basic unit of the capitalism.
Hh connects to global economy via the
commodity chain.
Household & Commodity Chain
Hh contributes to the commodity chain the
following:
– Waged work
– Non-waged work
For the Maintenance of the households
Commodity chain
Commodity chain is the structural
mechanism which connects all actors of the
world economy, from the child laborer to the
household to the nation-state to the giant
multinational corporation.
It is the commodity chain which articulates
nation-states and small local communities
with the world-economy.
It is in the commodity chain
where unequal exchange
occur in the global trading
Commodity chain is a successive layers of
unequal exchanges” (Dunaway 2003: 193).
Commodity chain
are the key structural mechanisms of
unequal exchange. They are the chains of
the capitalist world-system in three senses:
– they derive from the system;
– they link together the diverse local economies of
the system;
– and they entrap and exploit its entire population,
almost no household excepted
Household & Commodity Chain
At every point in a commodity chain, households
subsidize capitalists’ low wages in order to sustain
the laborers who produce the commodity.
The hidden inputs of households are preconditions
for the productivity of household members who
engage in external waged labor required to produce
the goods that are traded in the world-economy.
non-waged labors generate the bulk of household
resources.
To maximize profit
capitalists must exploit as many "costless"
social and natural conditions as possible.
To put it differently, the capitalist mode of
production structures and reshapes
households in ways that in ways that
minimize production costs by allowing
extensive use of conditions external to the
production process.
Survival coping of hh
More reliance on traditional approaches of
subsistence
Informal economy
Utang, thief, illegal forms
Unequal Exchange
causes the polarized distribution of resources and
commodities, such that world economic outputs are
drained from the periphery and concentrated in the core.
A single commodity chain usually exploits several forms
of waged and non-waged labor (Dunaway 2002: 133).
Occurs in every node of a commodity chain because
capitalists consume resources and labor from households
without paying either a “living wage” or the full cost of
those inputs (Mies and Shiva 2001).
At the world-market level, "the uneven exchange of these
commodities between nations. . . constitutes the very
essences of global inequality" (Korzeniewicz and Martin
1994: 83). According to Dunaway (2002: 132):
Commodity Chain
The basic structural unit of the world-economy
“a network of labor and production processes whose end
result is a finished commodity” (Hopkins and Wallerstein
1986: 159).
consist of set or inter-organizational networks clustered
around one commodity or product, linking households,
enterprises, and states to one another within the world-
economy.
These networks are situationally specific, socially
constructed and locally integrated, underscoring the
social embeddedness of economic organization.(Gereffi
et. al. 1994: 2).
Ecofeminists say:
The colonies of capitalism are:
Peripheries /TW
Women
Environment
All the three unfold in the Households.
The hidden inputs
These are the non-waged inputs
Contributed by women, children and elderly
Women contribution
biological reality of women's lives is sexual and reproductive; thus, mothers
make their first subsidy to capitalism through the bearing and raising of
successive generations of laborers. Despite its dependency upon this
natural female contribution, however, capitalism has externalized laborer
reproduction outside the realm of the economic.
Income generating work of women – “Shadow work” ie informal sector, etc
Subsistence production – gardening, labandera, food selling, etc
It is not through waged labor that
households are most inequitably exploited;
it is through the super-exploitation of their
non-waged and unpaid labors (Dalla Costa
1972, Mies 1 986:48). As Nash (1994: 20-
21) observes:

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Feminism and Capitalism

  • 2. Conditions of women economic Unrecognized/unvalued- not included in accounts (household chores, paid labors) Undervalued - esp if compared to men Political - no voice; no participation in electoral processes (ie historically) Cultural - expected to serve men, subservient to men; relegated to household concerns; discriminated
  • 3. Hence, women Double or multiple burden Discriminated 2nd class citizen
  • 4. Conditions of women (in the world) Access to education Employment opportunities Reproductive health & rights Maternal health Gender-based violence Child marriage Female genital mutilation Water and sanitation Gender equality
  • 5. Capitalism An economic system where production is primary for exchange Marxist arguments: The contradiction between laborers and capitalists Labor theory - only human labor is counted that which produced directly the commodity (ie in factory)
  • 6. Capitalism - Did not invent women Even before (modern capitalism), there is already women issues as today. What capitalism did was to HIDE this in the discourse of REPRODUCTIVE AND PRODUCTIVE DIVIDE. In capitalism, Reproduction - is not valued, discriminated, not counted Production - preferred, valued, counted REPRODUCTION WAS RELEGATED TO WOMEN (CULTURALLY, POLITICALLY, ECONOMICALLY, ETC…)
  • 7. Hence, in capitalism - 50% of the world’s labor is automatically underpaid or less paid The survival of the workers who are less paid are not the obligation of the capitalists but the households The training of the laborers/factory workers are not with the factory but households The survival of humanity is not from paid work but households - unpaid work of women, children, elderly
  • 9. Understanding Household Family – humans, usually kin-based Household – humans + non-human resources; some kin-based, some not Non human resources: - material (e.g., land, house) - non-material resources (e.g., biological reproduction, care-giving, rights and responsibilities)
  • 10. Roles of HH Production of lives Survival of members Household is an – Economic unit – production and consumption unit – Decision-making unit – Resource-allocating unit – Basic cultural arena/unit – Base for social movements
  • 11. The Hh The most neglected pillar of capitalist economy. The household – with all its human and non-human elements – is the smallest unit of the capitalist world-system. In its power conflicts, status hierarchies, and inequalities, the household mirrors the structural contradictions of the world-system in which it is nested (Wallerstein 1983). Dialectically, the household is also that space which provides safe haven and nurture for individuals who are assaulted by that crisis-ridden world (Salleh 1999).
  • 12. Household & Global economy Hh is the basic unit of the capitalism. Hh connects to global economy via the commodity chain.
  • 13. Household & Commodity Chain Hh contributes to the commodity chain the following: – Waged work – Non-waged work For the Maintenance of the households
  • 14. Commodity chain Commodity chain is the structural mechanism which connects all actors of the world economy, from the child laborer to the household to the nation-state to the giant multinational corporation. It is the commodity chain which articulates nation-states and small local communities with the world-economy.
  • 15. It is in the commodity chain where unequal exchange occur in the global trading Commodity chain is a successive layers of unequal exchanges” (Dunaway 2003: 193).
  • 16. Commodity chain are the key structural mechanisms of unequal exchange. They are the chains of the capitalist world-system in three senses: – they derive from the system; – they link together the diverse local economies of the system; – and they entrap and exploit its entire population, almost no household excepted
  • 17. Household & Commodity Chain At every point in a commodity chain, households subsidize capitalists’ low wages in order to sustain the laborers who produce the commodity. The hidden inputs of households are preconditions for the productivity of household members who engage in external waged labor required to produce the goods that are traded in the world-economy. non-waged labors generate the bulk of household resources.
  • 18. To maximize profit capitalists must exploit as many "costless" social and natural conditions as possible. To put it differently, the capitalist mode of production structures and reshapes households in ways that in ways that minimize production costs by allowing extensive use of conditions external to the production process.
  • 19. Survival coping of hh More reliance on traditional approaches of subsistence Informal economy Utang, thief, illegal forms
  • 20.
  • 21. Unequal Exchange causes the polarized distribution of resources and commodities, such that world economic outputs are drained from the periphery and concentrated in the core. A single commodity chain usually exploits several forms of waged and non-waged labor (Dunaway 2002: 133). Occurs in every node of a commodity chain because capitalists consume resources and labor from households without paying either a “living wage” or the full cost of those inputs (Mies and Shiva 2001). At the world-market level, "the uneven exchange of these commodities between nations. . . constitutes the very essences of global inequality" (Korzeniewicz and Martin 1994: 83). According to Dunaway (2002: 132):
  • 22. Commodity Chain The basic structural unit of the world-economy “a network of labor and production processes whose end result is a finished commodity” (Hopkins and Wallerstein 1986: 159). consist of set or inter-organizational networks clustered around one commodity or product, linking households, enterprises, and states to one another within the world- economy. These networks are situationally specific, socially constructed and locally integrated, underscoring the social embeddedness of economic organization.(Gereffi et. al. 1994: 2).
  • 23. Ecofeminists say: The colonies of capitalism are: Peripheries /TW Women Environment All the three unfold in the Households.
  • 24. The hidden inputs These are the non-waged inputs Contributed by women, children and elderly Women contribution biological reality of women's lives is sexual and reproductive; thus, mothers make their first subsidy to capitalism through the bearing and raising of successive generations of laborers. Despite its dependency upon this natural female contribution, however, capitalism has externalized laborer reproduction outside the realm of the economic. Income generating work of women – “Shadow work” ie informal sector, etc Subsistence production – gardening, labandera, food selling, etc
  • 25. It is not through waged labor that households are most inequitably exploited; it is through the super-exploitation of their non-waged and unpaid labors (Dalla Costa 1972, Mies 1 986:48). As Nash (1994: 20- 21) observes: