SOSC 200Y Gender and Society Lecture 20: Patriarchy Capitalism and the State.
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SOSC 200Y Gender and Society Lecture 20: Patriarchy Capitalism and the State
L20: 20.11.06 Marxist Feminist When capitalism meets patriarchy… –Gender inequality is rooted in class oppression under capitalism –Women provide ‘free’ private household labour and service extract more work from wage labour –Women provide the reserve labour that capitalists can call on when needed. –E.g. Female employment before and after war
L20: 20.11.06 Hong Kong’s case 60’s: growth of manufacturing (home) industry –Rising need for flexible human resources –Integration of women into the labour market 70’s: growth of export-oriented (modern large scale) industries –Labour-intensive factory work, low-cost labour –Factory girls/ working daughters in HK From mid-80’s: de-industrialization –Relocation of manufacturing production to low-cost countries –Declining need of related labour and factory workers
L20: 20.11.06 De-industrialization in HK Overall 1987: 918,600 workers 1994: 558,300 workers (-39%) Women workers 1987: 430,376 1995: 164,248 (-61%) The ratio of female to male wages 1987: ($268: $198) 74.1% 1995: ($289: $184) 63.8%
L20: 20.11.06 Changes in Employment Status of Manufacturing workers by gender
L20: 20.11.06 Reserve labour Involve mainly in home industry Take home jobs – piecemeal basis Join the low-paid unskilled workforce in labour intensive industries Switched to lower-ranking, part-time service jobs Outworkers/ contracted-out workers
L20: 20.11.06 From late 90’s: Women and Poverty Low income –Cleansing workers: $3,600/ month ($12-15/ hour) Contracted-out workers –E.g. work in public toilets (<$3,500 VS $5,300-$5,900) Lack of legal protection –Wage reduction, Holidays, MPF, Insurance Women poverty –70% of the total poor population in world are female –HK: CSSA (1996 2000) Increase in the number of successful applicants (M:55% vs F:72%)
L20: 20.11.06 Rules under Patriarchy Capitalism Clear division between public and private sphere of lives –Public Issues (employment) Market Rules –Private Issues (family) Morality Women’s position in relation to men and to capital Resource differences
L20: 20.11.06 Role of the state Economic laissez-faire Social nonintervention policy… Protector?! (through legislations) Taking care of the disability and the dependence in society Through social security programs, taxation and welfare policies.
L20: 20.11.06 Suggested Readings ( library reserve –2 hrs ): Chiu, Stephen and Ching-kwan Lee (1997) Withering away of the Hong Kong Dream?: Women Workers under Industrial Restructuring, Occasional Paper, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Chinese University