The Integration of Women into the Economy
Women integration into the economy is an approach that recognizes the presence and absence of women as a crucial factor indicating the efficiency or effectiveness of a development program. This kind of integration takes from in parts of projects or entire projects directed on women whose role is to increase their revenues as well as their ability to assume their traditional roles, thus backing mobilization of human resources for economic development.
The focus here is on the category of women and the idea that women should be incorporated in economic development projects if they are not yet included (OECD 4). Gender equality aims at eliminating prejudice by ensuring parity of conditions as well as offering equal opportunities to both genders. Gender equity on the other focuses on differences between women and men ensuring that they both benefit from the results.
However, the approach employed by gender equity may be necessary to help familiarize the mainstreaming of the initiative. This is based on the fact that, equity is recommended and has not focused on the differences as an issue of material disparities between groups, dominance and subordination as well as gender equity. The formal equality model perpetuates prejudice repeatedly because its approach is biased as a personal predicament and not a systematic problem that arose from an individual’s baseless deliberate differential treatment of the other.
Gender equality is also an important part of global human rights. This means that men and women are treated equality and can access health, education and nutrition equally. It is also an indication that challenges regarding involvement of women in political and economic life should be addressed to enable women to share opportunities and benefits of development equally with men.
The cooperation and participation of members of the community is at the heart of development growth. Such participation should therefore play a crucial role in building people’s skills, potential and knowledge to help them get involved in meaningful activities. In short, the objectives and goals of gender and development policy acknowledge the fact that development programs cannot be successful of men and women are not involved and supported.
The early approaches to women in economy acknowledged that economic growth had ignored a crucial role played by women in their communities. As a result, they excluded them from the implementation and designing of development programs. The women in development (WID) approach also recognize that there are more efficient and effective development programs that need active participation.
Seeking a solution to exclusion of women from economic development progression, the WID strategy mainly focuses on women. Additionally, the integration of women in economic development approach recognizes disparities and inequalities of power between women and men, as a barrier on equitable economic development as well as full participation of women (OECD 25).
The integration is manifested in a gender evaluation from which, two types of strategies are considered including Mainstreaming and Affirmative Action. Gender analysis is also a tool that helps to highlight the likelihood of the needs of men and women (especially in terms of access to and control of factors of production such as land, water, capital and knowledge), their opportunities, limitations as well as their respective strategies for survival.
This analysis therefore includes practical needs determined by both genders with a purpose of enhancing Mainstream and Affirmative Action advantages to the disadvantaged group. Mainstreaming is a crucial strategy that focuses on ways to systematically integrate dimensions of women into the formulation of policies of economic development through each step, of their execution and at their evaluation time. This is to ensure that development practices helps to promote equality amongst men and women in the society.
It also emphasizes on methods and procedures that can impact favoring equal participation of men and women. What’s more, it aims at eliminating power inequalities between both genders. Mainstreaming gender equity calls for a design of development programs and policies to account for women fully especially their roles, priorities, constraints and needs across all divisions.
Contrasting substantive equality nonetheless, mainstreaming cannot presume the needs of women to be similar as that of men. Gender mainstreaming is an approach that is accepted internationally for enhancing gender equality. Additionally, mainstreaming is not a conclusion by itself by a crucial approach and a means to help achieve gender equality.
Mainstreaming in particular involves ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the objective of gender equality are important to all activities including economic policy progress. Affirmative or positive action is a strategy that entails actions of positive discrimination favoring a disadvantaged social group whether it is a group of women or women in general into the budget of economic development programs.
The main objective is to create a balance ensuring more equality amongst men and women whether they are indirectly or directly affected by the programs. Additionally, economic development programming that includes the considerations of women is more responsive, effective and sustainable.
Within the education perspective, the program implies that many girls should be able to attend school, receive quality education and progress their educational results to help them maximize their potential. It is essential to note that education plays a very crucial role in enhancing economic growth and development as well as poverty reduction. In specific, educating girls offers many social benefits including
- Healthier children
- Reduced fertility
- Enhanced economic efficiency for ladies
- Decreased in domestic violence incidences and
- Greater political involvement
While development education funding already registered high investment yield, the integration of female considerations into education planning ensures easy access to quality education for girls (OECD 48). Additionally, to achieve meaningful deliberate and development efforts have to make with a purpose of addressing gender issues. Large gender differences are imperative in human rights, economic opportunities and resources and political influence and are highly evident in many countries.
Since 1980, there has been an increased arrangement that sustainable development needs consideration of men and women responsibilities as well as their roles in the society and relationship towards each other. This has come to be addressed as the Gender and Development (GAD) approach as discussed above.
The main goal of GAD is to ensure women’s needs and perspectives are well mainstreamed into all activities. This is because the approach recognizes that all economic activities have gender influence and do not necessarily help women and men in the same way. It is therefore essential to adopt the GAD strategy for different development programs to benefit girls and boys, men and women for sustainable development (OECD 65).
Giving girls an opportunity to realize education benefits calls for understanding of their needs, roles as well as responsibilities. This is because understanding how gender relations, power dynamics and norms affect learning opportunities for girls enables education officials to plan for solicitations that bring about targeted responses to existing needs and problems.
By incorporating the needs and concerns of women into the economy, education officials can ensure proposed activities to help tackle the root cause of problems and ways in which the constraints can be eliminated for girls. Enhancing women economic status is also no longer an objective that is seen as just a women issue but also a clear objective that calls for active involvement of women and men in economic activities.
As a matter of fact, in around 1968, a feminist movement resurfaced in Western nations alongside other public rights societal movements. Even though the energies of the movements were in part, directed internally, many Western women used their positions to put pressure on government foreign aid offices to ensure that all grants to receiving countries supported women.
The main point of the first women and economic development approach was aimed at ensuring women move from poverty and benefit from monetary development efforts. The United Nations in 1975 declared the International Women’s Year and the celebration of the First International Women’s Conference marked internationalization of the group.
This special intergovernmental conference and the nongovernmental International Women’s Tribune Centre (IWTC), a networking and communications institution brought together women from different countries across the globe under the umbrella of Equality, Development and Peace that extended its support and energy at the United Nations Decade for Women (UNDW), 1976 to 1985. It is a move that also sparked the creation of institutions and networks globally as ‘’women and economy’’ became an area of concern in economic arena.
Additionally, the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Women together with the International Training and Research Centre for Women (ITRCW) were created within UN system. The IWTC as well as Women’s World Bank, loan facilitation organizations were created as NGOs. Commissions on women at the national level, women’s desks and women’s bureaus were also created in many countries. Other women organizations and networks also emerged at community and state levels.
Such bodies contributed to the institutionalization of women and economic development as global identified concepts and generalized a great deal on knowledge as well as awareness on women issues across the globe. Policy makers also have many policy instruments to encourage women as well as economic development effectiveness. Even so, effective actions needs that policy makers take into account all local realities when implementing and designing economic development programs and policies.
There can never be one size fits all strategy for women promotion. Therefore, to ensure enhanced economic development, issues concerning women must be the focal part of policy analysis, design and execution. Economic development enables policy makers, civil society members and development specialists enough precious lessons as well as devices for engaging women in economic development work.
This is because it enables development community members and policy makers to realize their dedication to sustainable economic development. Development results cannot also be maximized amidst attending to various needs, roles and priorities interests of women. Development programs can therefore never succeed without involvement, cooperation and participation of women.
A budget is the most crucial statement of the government’s social and economic priorities and plans. It is now recognized extensively that macroeconomic strategies can and doesn’t affect gender disparity. Gender disparity however influences macroeconomic results. Employing dedications towards gender equality also calls for more deliberate actions to incorporate gender perception in planning and budgeting frameworks and in real investments to help reduce gender gaps.
Financial planning that is gender responsible does not revolve on establishing different financial plans for women, or increasing women programs expenditures exclusively. Gender responsive planning actually seeks to ensure proper collection and allocation of public resources and it should be conducted in ways that are effective and contribute towards promoting gender equality and women empowerment.
It should also be based on conclusive analysis to identify effectual interventions for laws and policies implementation to progress the rights of women. It also provides tools that help to evaluate various needs and contributions of men and women, as well as girls and boys over existing revenues, expenditure, allocations and calls for the revision of budget policies to the advantage of all groups.
Gender responsive financial plan analysis alongside the legislation and other realistic policy strategies can manage gender bias and discrimination. It is a pace towards human right’s liability as well as enhanced civic transparency to help move economic policies donating to benefits across the society as well.
Globalization has also led to an increased flow of immigration officers from less economically developed countries to help fill in the gaps in countries characterized with deteriorating employee supply. Even through globalization may not necessarily promote acceleration of trade and investment; it does not build an environment that protects female workers’ physical, social and economic security.
It is even worse when it comes to female immigration personnel whose figures are considered rising, now making up to 50 percent or more of total immigrants personnel in Asia and America (OECD 112).
By creating new fresh fiscal opportunities, relocation can help keep economic sovereignty and status of female employees who offer protection nets that sustain communities at home. Studies also reveal that migrant female employees play a crucial role in promoting economic growth in receiving and ending countries because their income remittances make up 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product in other countries.
Women property rights in other countries are restricted by social norms, customs and at times legislation, thus preventing their financial growth and opportunity to manage deficiency. Women also constitute to small farmers and over 75 percent farming work in some countries and they are often denied opportunity to own lands they farm on and rely for the wellbeing of their families.
OECD, “The Integration of Women into the Economy,” Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1985. Print