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The (Re-)Ascent of Women -Phillip Tussing, Economics (with thanks to Scotty Moore, Anthropology)

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Presentation on theme: "The (Re-)Ascent of Women -Phillip Tussing, Economics (with thanks to Scotty Moore, Anthropology)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The (Re-)Ascent of Women -Phillip Tussing, Economics (with thanks to Scotty Moore, Anthropology)

2 The Paleolithic: Hunter-Gatherer Economy Two principles: One: that women were the principle gatherers (80% of calories) Two: that roles aren't fixed in stone

3 We are often taught that… THE FALLACY OF FARMING Farming is superior to hunting/gathering because the lives of hunters are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short The status of women relative to men has ALWAYS been low – until modern times

4 Spend 2 hours per day gathering food and resources Average caloric intake is 2200 calories per day Diverse diet and small populations lead to increased health Lack of private property greatly reduces crime rates IT S GOOD TO BE A HUNTER/GATHERER

5 Main social role: collect resources for immediate consumption Women are often responsible for gathering but roles are NOT fixed Gathered resources contribute up to 80% of the diet Number of children limited by mobility So – womens contributions are immediate and critical to group survival WOMEN IN HUNTER/GATHERER SOCIETIES

6 EARLY farming societies had all of the negatives that come with farming (and very few positives) Sanitation problems Disease Poorer diet and overall health Reliance on single crops All of this leads to HIGH INFANT MORTALITY RATES Ancient Egypt – 25-35% infant mortality rate Main social role: provide delayed labor WOMEN IN FARMING SOCIETIES

7 Early Industrialization: Britain after 1790 -women as well as men in industry – mostly young & unmarried -especially in textile industry – traditional for women -women had lower wages than men – used to save more expensive male labor

8 Economic Position of Sweatshops In a column in the NY Times on 14 Jan 2009, Nicholas Kristof wrote:...while it shocks Americans to hear it, the central challenge in the poorest countries is not that sweatshops exploit too many people, but that they dont exploit enough.... sweatshops are only a symptom of poverty, not a cause, and banning them closes off one route out of poverty. The best way to help people in the poorest countries isnt to campaign against sweatshops but to promote manufacturing there.

9 Women & the Rise of the Middle Class -Move from Agricultural labor to Manufacturing -Now Children, which were a Benefit in Agriculture, have an Opportunity Cost (prevents women from working & earning money) -Consumer culture of labor-saving devices, many of which give women more time to work outside the home

10 WWII:Women Replace Male Workers -Rosie the Riveter icon -women not only in traditional roles, but heavy manufactuing -again substituting for male labor, but temporary -changed attitudes about women's competence

11 Women in Services Women dominate many service industries -76.7% of US Economy in 2011 was services -typical of post- industrial rich country economies


13 Women Dominate Growing Industries Fastest-Growing Industries, US: Top 11: 1. Management & Scientific Consulting 2. Services for Elderly 3. Physical & Occupational Therapists 4. Data Processing 5. Home health Care 6. Specialized Design 7. Computer Systems Design 8. Mental Health Care 9. Merchandise Stores 10. Medical Labs 11. Other Healthcare -Women dominate primarily in traditional female industries: -Healthcare -Education -Retail Store clerks -Administrative Support


15 The Richer you Are, The Fewer Children

16 Post-Industrial Society -current American society is post-industrial (dominated by services) -US fertility rate as of 2012 is 2.06 – just under replacement rate of approx 2.1 – population would be shrinking already without immigration -in most other OECD (i.e., rich) countries, the rate is as low or lower – in France it is 2.08; in Russia it's 1.43; in Japan it's 1.39; in Singapore 0.78 (!); in China it is 1.55 and falling; in India 2.58 (just above the World average of 2.47), but also falling. The future holds more measures to support women in childbirth, childrearing while working, as well as more equal social and economic status

17 Model for the Future? Sweden Fertility Rate of 1.67 The Government Encourages Sexual Equality -85% of Men take Govt-subsidized Parental Leave -the more leave men take, the higher their wives' earnings -Childcare is universal

18 References - scellaneous/women_workforce.html cohen/women-may-be-losing-jobs_b_114504.html nId=81736 d/europe/10iht-sweden.html?pagewanted=3 factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

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