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Gender Inequality, Modernization and Development in South and Southeast Asia Dr. Jennifer Jarman National University of Singapore.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender Inequality, Modernization and Development in South and Southeast Asia Dr. Jennifer Jarman National University of Singapore."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender Inequality, Modernization and Development in South and Southeast Asia Dr. Jennifer Jarman National University of Singapore

2 Purpose This paper presents a justification for extending the analysis of Gender Segregation patterns to Large Developing Countries in Asia Some discussion of the theoretical issues in this area Presentation of some material for one country, Vietnam

3 Previous Research Has focused extensively on the experiences of developed countries Lack of analysis of the experiences of developing countries in the integration of women into their economies – Some exceptions (e.g. Anker, 1998; Chang, 2000) – Some work on India, China, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Fiji. South and SE Asia very under-represented.

4 Labour Force Size and Segregation Literature CountryLabour Force N Segregation Studies Viet Nam44.4 mill0 Thailand36.60 Bangladesh74.30 Pakistan56.21? Sweden4.912+ Denmark2.912+ Finland2.712+ Norway2.512+ Source: for labour force ns, World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2007

5 Initiatives to Encourage Research on Gendering in Developing Countries Initiatives: ILO project Measuring Segregation, 1992. Gender Inequality in the Labour Market, A Manual on Methodology, Janet Siltanen, Jennifer Jarman and R.M. Blackburn Gender and Jobs, Sex Segregation of Occupations in the World, Richard Anker

6 Development of the concept of Problematic Segregation With respect to Developed countries, segregation has been seen as fundamental. The relationship of segregation to Inequality has been assumed to be causal ever since Sidney Webb first wrote about it in 1891.

7 Eliminating Segregation Thereafter, has been much development in the arena of Employment Law and Employment practices to limit employers from segregating their workforces on the basis of gender. Key Actors in this transformative work: – unions, womens groups, the state and its various departments (principally labour ministries, womens bureaus, equal opportunities commissions, educational and vocational training institutions), individual men and women who collectively make decisions about their careers, families, education levels.

8 ILO, Constitution, 1919 Legal Starting Point for international legislative protections Preamble: Universal peace can only be established if it is based upon social justice. Article 41 of Constitution of ILO. 1919 laid down – 'the principle that men and women should receive equal remuneration for work of equal value

9 Title VII, US Civil Rights Act Section 703, 1964 C) Labor Organization Practices It shall be an unlawful employment practice for a labor organization – (1)To exclude or to expel from its membership, or otherwise to discriminate against, any individual because of his race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; (2)To limit, segregate, or classify its membership or applicants for membership, or to classify or fail or refuse to refer for employment any individual in any way which would limit such employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee or as an applicant for employment, because of such individuals race, color, religion, sex or national origin;

10 Direct and Indirect Discrimination These have focused on two types of discriminatory practices: – Direct: treat a person differently based on their gender; we do not hire women as Bouncers or on the Docks – Indirect: fair in form but not in outcome; you must be 5 8 to be a police officer (average womans height is 55)

11 New Solutions to the Problem of Segregated Labour Markets By the 1980s it has become clear that the job of de-segregating labour forces has a problem – Older workers who do not have time or resources to retrain or restructure careers so as to break down traditional gender barriers, whether they be barriers for women or for men.

12 Logic These two legal examples indicate the main direction of thinking about Segregation over the past century Segregation – differences – are considered to set the stage for serious gender inequalities in pay, benefits, working conditions, and social standing of the job.

13 1980s - Revaluing Segregation Patterns New policy measures designed to accept Segregation, but to make sure that groups of male workers and groups of female workers in workplaces are remunerated equally. – Comparable worth, pay equity, equal pay for work of equal value – These policies involve extensive employment systems reviews to assess whether there are differences in contract terms of groups of similarly situated male and female workers

14 Identify the Causal Processes that create Different but Equal societies In BJS (Blackburn et al., 2002) we argued that to understand the relationship between Inequality and Segregation, three processes were crucial (i) expansion of education (ii) change in the occupational structure (I would now argue decline of menial work in Agriculture) (iii) making it easier for adult female women (esp. married with children) to participate These policies implicitly requires extensive participation EITHER of unions through examination of collective bargaining agreements or Human Resources departments and the State as arbiter. These require: – A Strong (not failed or ineffective or inconsequential) State supporting the Entrance of Women into the Formal Economy – Legitimate and Strong Trade Union movement – HR Departments (medium to large enterprises) – Demand in the economy for Labour

15 Asian analysis Methodology: 4 case studies, 2 South Asian (Bangladesh, Pakistan) and 2 Southeast Asian (Thailand, Vietnam); how to theoretically locate these countries in terms of type of state esp. re: gender regimes Problem of data which is highly aggregated, this is primarily a concentration or pattern analysis; lack of a Vertical measure. Therefore, concentration or pattern analysis Data Sources: ILO labour force statistics database, year 2000.

16 Comparative GDP, LF and %F CountryGDP (Constant 2000 US $) Labour ForceLabour Force % Female Viet Nam52.6 bill44.4 mill.48 Thailand173.2 bill36.6 mill.47 Bangladesh69.6 bill74.3 mill.39 Pakistan106.2 bill56.2 mill.19 Source: The World Bank Group, World Development Indicators.

17 Viet Nam

18 Overview In the developed countries, legal changes and policy developments such as Title VII, or the Sex Discrimination acts have been significant. In Communist countries, the pressing need for labour for developmental purposes, has paved the way for women to enter the formal economy. – Theoretically, Economy-centred (Chang, 2000); but liberal use of state to support expansion of labour supply; anti-family due to Marxist influence; question of depth of commitment to meaningful gender equality.

19 Viet Nam Strong state support for womens involvement in formal economy since 1946 onwards Unionized, but all unions are under leadership of Communist Party Corporatist model Demand for womens labour due to extensive involvement in wars. – Anti-colonial War 1946 – 54 – Vietnam War 1959 – 1975 – Invasion of Cambodia 1978 – 1979 – Sinochina Invasion of Vietnam 1979 - 1979

20 Every Vietnamese, old and young, men and women, rich and poor, whatever his or her social position, must become a fighter struggling on the military, economic, political or cultural front, for the implementation of this watchword: Resistance by the entire people and in every field. In our patriotic emulation, we resist foreign aggression while at the same time rebuilding the country. The first results of patriotic emulation will be the following: The entire people will have enough food and clothing, The entire people will have learnt to read and write, The entire army will have enough food and armaments to wipe out the invaders, and The whole nation will be completely re-unified and independent. Thus we shall have obtained: Independence for the nation; Freedom for the citizens; and Happiness for the people. Ho Chi Minh, Selected Writings, Appeal for Patriotic Emulation, June 11, 1948, published by The Gioi Publishers).

21 Continued Emphasis on Womens Progress The process of struggle to contribute in all spheres of economic and social life should be womens process of continuous growth. Let every woman advance… and increase their capabilities. Therefore, it is necessary to concentrate on training many more women cadres, including economic management cadres, scientific and technical cadres, educational, health and cultural cadres…. With their contributions and maturity, our nations women will be able to assume and discharge heavier responsibilities in leading organizations. This is the process of achieving equality between men and women in reality and in life. Pham Van Dong, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, told the opening session of the Womens union congress in 1982,




25 Agriculture The striking feature of this is the presence of a very large, highly mixed occupational order – Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry This feature has been observed elsewhere – Anker, England – on large non-mechanized farms both mens and womens labour is used extensively

26 No all-female or all-male occs No really all-female areas or all-male areas. Most female-dominated areas – Hotels and Restaurants – 71% but have a significant mix of men (29%). [This contrasts sharply with South Asia where restaurants and public eating areas are dominantly male].

27 Some Not Surprising Findings We see some typical patterns – Women as Educators, women as maids, and health care workers But also an interesting presence of women in Extra-Terrestrial Bodies – (trade and international organizations inc. NGOs) and in Financial Institutions.

28 More Surprising Findings Strong presence of women in occupations that are elsewhere sex-typed as male 31% in mining and quarrying 24% in security and defence (security problems are a growing issue in the cities) Not insignificant in Fishing and in Construction (heavy manual labour, and some of the most dangerous occupations in the occupational spectrum)

29 What do we know about these womens occupations? Manual Coal ShovellingManual Lifting

30 Ho Chi Minh in mining community in Quang Ninh province, 1965

31 Lady Mineworkers – Viet Nam Surface coal Vietnam Coal & Mining Co. womens team, Managed by Quarrying Co.

32 Explanations While there are strong ideological foundations for a womans place is in the home with first responsibility for husband and family members due to the influence of Confucianism, here we see three key influences: – The need for womens labour to build a communist state – 50 years of war producing a demographic structure with a distinct female skew – Corporatist state

33 Conclusions Despite the dominance of ideological constructions throughout Asia which construct a primary role for women as mothers and wives, there are wide differences in the way in which women participate in the formal economy.

34 Theory in Relation to Viet Nam: Strong state support for womens presence in economy Yes, historically but may be declining somewhat now with shift to capitalist economy Strong trade union movementYes, but struggling with the problem of shifting to a free market & new bargaining structures Strong labour market demandYes, Viet Nam economy still growing rapidly

35 Conclusions However, in relation to case of Viet Nam, in shift to a market economy with a lesser presence of the state, and with the demographic structure moving back to a more normal structure after the loss of so many men, what will happen to the position of women? Will they maintain their advantage, or, as some are suggesting be forced to return to the rural areas as the public sector employment and the smaller ventures they have been involved in disappear.

36 Conclusions This paper would also like to suggest that there is a need for some new directions in research on Asian women which has for too long been dominated by discussion of a few occupations: Maids, Prostitutes, Factory Workers, Market Traders and Air Hostesses. Clearly there are millions of women working in occupations like Construction and Mining, where the academic analysis has not even begun.

37 The End

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