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Women's Economic Equity and Participatory Economics A Presentation by Mitchell Szczepanczyk

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Presentation on theme: "Women's Economic Equity and Participatory Economics A Presentation by Mitchell Szczepanczyk"— Presentation transcript:

1 Women's Economic Equity and Participatory Economics A Presentation by Mitchell Szczepanczyk

2 In this presentation: What is women's economic equity, and what is the current status of women's economic equity? What are some of the obstacles toward achieving women's economic equity? What is participatory economics? How is participatory economics relevant towards women's economic equity, and toward overcoming the obstacles toward economic equity? What are some possible next steps?

3 What is women's economic equity? Some possible definitions include: A synonym for "fairness" in economic matters between men and women The right that women should be paid the same as men The right that women should have work equally empowering as men

4 What is its current status? Bad, but it was much worse... "In 2005, women's median annual earnings were only $.77 for every $1.00 earned by men.” "Women are paid less in every occupational classification for which sufficient information is available, according to the data analysis in over 300 job classifications provided by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.” "In 1963, the year of the Equal Pay Act's passage, full-time working women were paid 59 cents on average to the dollar received by men, while in 2005 women were paid 77 cents for every dollar received by men. In other words, for the last 42 years, the wage gap has only narrowed by less than half of a penny per year. (Source:

5 What are some of the obstacles toward achieving women's economic equity? Political realm: Poor laws and ineffective enforcement in eliminating wage discrimination. Economic realm: Markets themselves are also critical to address in the matter of women's economic equity.

6 What are some market connections to women's economic equity? Markets are (contrary to popular myth) not democratizing institutions. They're competitive by definition. Since they're competitive, you have an incentive to behave like a monster. Corporations are the legal equivalent of monsters in a market.

7 What are some market connections to women's economic equity? Despite gains in women in breaking corporate glass ceilings, corporations tend to: Have majorities of men in executive positions (only 14% of 550 executives in various industries were women*) Bear hierarchies in pay and job empowerment Concentrate women in jobs with lesser pay and lesser job empowerment * Source: women-ceos_N.htm

8 What are some market connections to women's economic equity? A lot of the caregiving work which is overwhelmingly done by women is unrecognized by markets. Caregiving work and housework takes away from time for wage-earning labor. If it were recognized, caregiving work and housework would comprise the overwhelming majority of economic activity.

9 What is participatory economics? An economic model which strives to achieve solidarity, equity, efficiency, and self-management without command-planning rules (corporations) or competitive realms (markets). A participatory economy ("parecon") is defined as having four different institutions (rules): (1) All jobs are balanced for desirability and empowerment. (2) Remuneration is determined by effort and sacrifice in socially-valued labor. (3) Economic decisions are made by decision-making bodies, where those who are impacted by a decision have decision-making power proportional to the degree they're impacted by that decision. (4) Resources are allocated by participatory planning, where consumption or production plans are submitted, with the help of a facilitation mechanism, to those who are impacted by those plans, and revised if necessary by those who made those plans in a series of rounds based on assorted qualitative and quantitative feedback. To learn more:

10 How is participatory economics relevant towards women's economic equity, and toward overcoming the obstacles toward economic equity? Parecon addresses the matter of discrepancies in job hierarchies (where women tend to get stuck with disproportionately disempowering work) with balanced job complexes. Caregiving work, which is not or poorly recognized in markets, is recognized in a parecon since it involves effort and sacrifice in socially-valued labor. Corporations don't gain market advantages in a parecon, because parecon doesn't use markets.

11 What are some possible next steps? There are at least four categories of future actions: (1) Debate / Research (2) Media / Education / Outreach (3) Build new institutions based on parecon which markedly improve economic equity (4) Change present institutions to a parecon orientation in order to markedly improve economic equity If we feel this is worthy of our efforts, we can pursue one or more of these tracks for future action.

12 Questions? Concerns? “Hit me with your best shot.” -- Pat Benatar


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