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SOLIDARITY ECONOMY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WOMEN HOMEBASED WORKERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE “ECONOMICS OF EMPIRE”? HOMENET SEA By: Josephine.

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Presentation on theme: "SOLIDARITY ECONOMY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WOMEN HOMEBASED WORKERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE “ECONOMICS OF EMPIRE”? HOMENET SEA By: Josephine."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOLIDARITY ECONOMY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF WOMEN HOMEBASED WORKERS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: THE ALTERNATIVE TO THE “ECONOMICS OF EMPIRE”? HOMENET SEA By: Josephine C. Parilla/Poonsap Tulaphan

2 SOLIDARITY ECONOMY....is a quilt, a woven patchwork of many diverse economies that are centered on life-values instead of profit-values

3 SOLIDARITY ECONOMICS...is the process of identifying, connecting, strengthening and creating grassroots, life- centered alternatives to capitalist globalization, or the Economics of Empire (Ethan Miller, 2008)

4 OVERLAPPING CRISES AS CONTEXT Economics of Empire (neoliberal globalization)  has failed miserably in addressing the goals of people-centered development Now, there is a convergence of crises... global financial crisis employment crisis food crisis environmental crisis

5 Informalization and the Crisis in Employment Informal work  156 million or 63.7 percent of total employment in ASEAN in 2006 (ILO, 2007:3) _________________________________ Laos - 80 % Cambodia – 85% Philippines & Vietnam– 77 percent% Thailand – 67.8 % Indonesia – 63.8 % Singapore – 8.8 %

6 The current global financial crisis was expected to lead to an increase of million people unemployed in 2009, 10 to 22 million of whom would be WOMEN. (ILO, 2009)

7 Informality and Poverty 500 million working poor as of 2007  many are found in the informal economy  expected to rise to 1.4 billion or 45 percent of all total employed in 2009 higher proportion in the developing countries (already 58.7 percent in 2004)

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9 Of the more than 262 million workers in ASEAN, 148 million or 56.5 percent - at least 5 out of  living in poverty  subsisting at less than the two dollars a day  no enough income to get themselves out of poverty _________________________________________ ___ Cambodia and Laos - 80 % of workers Indonesia - 70 % Philippines - 60 % (ILO, 2007:4, 18)

10 The ILO predicted that due to the current global crisis,200 million workers in developing countries, would be pushed to extreme poverty (living on $1.25 a day) in In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, more than half survive on less than USD2 a day, and one-fourth, on less than USD 1.25 a day. (ILO, 2010)

11 Food and Environmental Crises According to the FAO, (since 2005) : food prices - have risen by 75 % (2007) : more than 40 million people - undernourished due to higher food prices In the Philippines... rice queues and shortages one out of six families have been reported hungry

12 food crisis - aggravated by unfair trade practices and the deterioration of the environment In insular Southeast Asia, influx of cheap and often smuggled vegetable items from abroad imported chicken parts and pork dumped at unbelievably low prices chemical-based agriculture and animal husbandry climate change due to global warming  tsunamis in Indonesia and Thailand, typhoons in the Philippines, flooding in Laos, etc.

13 Why this Crisis has a Woman's Face WOMEN  particularly involved in informal employment (averaging 65 percent of all women in non- agricultural employment in Asia ) engaged in agricultural work Two-thirds of the working poor in Asia are women. (ILO, 2006:25-26)

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15 Solidarity Economy: Whys and Wherefores emerged in Latin America but grew elsewhere in the Global South Global movement for solidarity economy converged with the World Social Forum movement for 2 reasons:  1) desire to synthesize the experiences, values, and visions of progressive social movements while at the same time respecting their diversity  2) search for a plurality of answers to neoliberal globalization through participatory learning and reflection on our organizing and goals (Allard and Matthaei,2008:4).

16 Solidarity Economy Practices : Connections Concrete connections of support and interrelation between different sectors of the solidarity economy  consumers ~ producers  currency networks ~ goods – manufacturing sectors Collective power and organization with which to implement “non-reformist” reform that reduce the power of the Market and State in our lives  (“Cooperative Economic Development Acts”) Networks of “Community Trade Organizations”  alternative to WTO (Miller 2008)

17 But what exactly is “solidarity economy”? ECONOMY The many different ways in which we human beings collectively generate livelihoods in relation to each other and to the rest of the Earth. SOLIDARITY The process of taking active responsibility for our relationships in ways that foster diversity, autonomy, cooperation, communication, and shared power (direct democracy).

18 = SOLIDARITY ECONOMY Interconnected and diverse ways of generating our livelihoods that encourage and embody practices of solidarity An “economy of economies” that resists the colonizing power of the individualistic, competitive, and exploitative Economy of Empire Miller, “Solidarity Economics”

19 Mapping solidarity economy initiatives  creation : “ecological creation”, “cultural creations”  production : producer cooperatives, self- employment  exchange : gifts, community currencies  consumption : consumer and housing cooperatives,  surplus allocation :  financing  recycling  savings/storage and compost  waste disposal PHASES OF ECONOMIC LIFE :

20 Five distinguishing principles of solidarity economy the objective is to serve its members or the community, instead of simply striving for financial profit; The economic enterprise is autonomous of the State; in its statute and code of conduct, a democratic decision-making process is established that implies the necessary participation of users and workers; it gives priority to people and work over capital in the distribution of revenue and surplus; its activities are based on principles of participation, empowerment, and individual and collective responsibility. (Quinones, 2008)

21 Reflections and Conclusions workers have to create jobs through self-employment, social enterprises, and cooperatives most vulnerable groups (women, urban and rural poor, the differently abled, survivors of AIDS and trafficking) need to be assisted and empowered economically by providing access to resources and services microfinance needs to be supplemented by capacity building, awareness-raising, social protection, participatory mechanisms, and extensive networking sustainable agriculture and disaster risk reduction initiatives need to be nurtured responses to overlapping crises need to be gender- responsive

22 Informal Workers Push for Fair Trade and Solidarity Economy In the face of all these challenges, informal workers through Homenet Southeast Asia, and other networks...  have been involved in macro and micro – levels  issued position papers  joined advocacy campaigns on trade- related issues  active in various forms of fair trade advocacy in collaboration with trade unions, business groups, and civil society organizations

23 their own conception of FAIR TRADE ensuring workers’ rights to just remuneration, job security, social protection, and safe working conditions; promoting gender equity through recognition of women’s work, greater equality in the division of labor, and stronger participation of women in decision-making.

24 their own conception of FAIR TRADE changes in macro-economic policies (tariff reform, stopping smuggling and dumping of cheap foreign products) to give an even chance to local producers to have their rightful share of the domestic market; enhancing sustainability of production by making use of locally available resources, catering to basic community needs, and safeguarding the environment;

25 Informal workers suggested... strong gender perspective - infused in information, education, and communication materials and campaigns value chain as well as gender analysis be employed in researches on various industries interests not only of industry survival but also those of workers be emphasized “tangkilikan” and other mutual support movements

26 In the WTO meetings in Hongkong, Homenet Southeast Asia supported the positions of alliances of developing countries to get better terms and concessions from the developed market economies : Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA) General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS)

27 Solidarity Economy Initiatives in Southeast Asia Thai Perspective and Practice : Homenet Thailand  “ strengthening and networking of HBWs at various levels and collaboration with other networks” in order “to empower and increase the bargaining power of HBWs and other informal workers in Thailand” Fair Trade in the Cambodian Context : Artisans Association of Cambodia  “people working together in a way that will directly help those who are more vulnerable and disadvantaged”  Principles : Production and Marketing

28 Solidarity Economy Initiatives in Southeast Asia Village Banks in Lao PDR : Homenet laos  empowering whole communities, especially the working poor, the women first of all  village banks PATAMABA Integrated Microfinance in the Philippines  lending and collection scheme system based on regular monthly visits to every chapter  campaign for Damayan  PATAMABA Region VI : fund of Php 1.4 million (Oct 2008)

29 Cooperatives for Sustainable Development, Disaster Management and Women's Empowerment : Philippine and Indonesian Experiences Ilaw ng Tahanan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Tarlac)  convergence of traditional values (bayanihan) with notions of food security, sustainable development, and women’s empowerment  efforts were concentrated in food production and processing The Setara Women’s Cooperative (Central Java)  recovery from disaster (earthquake)  cooperation of the lending bank, government and Homenet Indonesia  Research and mapping activities for disaster risk reduction

30 S O L I D A R I T Y E C O N O M Y... is a new, exciting, inclusive, and democratic alternative that can serve as the fulcrum of social development as a discipline, profession, and social practice. It deserves more curricular attention and field implementation if social, development as a field is to renew committed service to social transformation based on economic, social, gender, environmental, and intergenerational justice.

31 Thank you very much!


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