The international trade agreements have important impact on people living in poverty. But these impacts operate at different levels. In some cases, trade can stimulate the development of these countries, help the economic growth, help employment, give access to local population to variated goods and services, give access to other culture, ... In another dimension, international trade can be a destructive factor for developing countries, helping the increase of poverty and populations inequalities. Rules, political institutions can give another human-dimension to trade. I am just wondering how this situation leads trade to impact on women workforce and the perfect contrary, how does women workforce affect global trade? The relationship between social exclusion and global production systems depend on time; how national and international policies deal with global exchanges. But also on how international workers live this globalization process, according to their environment (with a special reference to South America). We are going to discuss on how these changes affect the social inclusion or exclusion of these workers (with a special consideration here for women) who most of the time are seniors or new actors in this informal global economy.
[...] According to economists Ghiara and Ghosh, taking the case of the number of women workers in maquiladoras in Mexico, their number fell from 77% in 1982 to 35% in 1993. At the edge of globalization, education wasn't such an important issue for workers, but now, in a world of global economies where everybody has to adapt fast, workers are supposed to be very skilled in order to perform in evolving markets and industries. Thus, women are once again even more excluded in this new globalization trend. [...]
[...] Thus, women are hired for operating in call centers; almost all multinationals relocate their calling or support centers in South American countries because of the internationalization of communication. This makes them participate again in the global economy. However, as you can imagine these kinds of jobs are not known for having stable contracts but at the same time they require a higher level of education (not necessarily for using the phone, but for these women to speak several languages). Even if a higher education level it is required for workers, in comparison with Non-Traditional Agricultural Exports or manufacturing industries, women remain at the aid of the hierarchy. [...]
[...] They are working for very low wages, still in a bad working atmosphere and conditions for big international groups. These women could find a home working job type in subcontracting chains, but many home workers just lost their source of income because of the crisis that affected these industries. The business restructuration that followed just led to the retirement of an important number of women, which led them to be obliged to adopt the home working style of work for even less money in industries with poor health conditions. [...]
[...] First it is sure that an important number of jobs have been created for women in South America but the real debate is on the aspects of these jobs, taking into account working conditions, their quality, the wages, social measures . Generally speaking, these wages are very low and working conditions are very bad, with the barely presence of social measures like health care or maternity leave. In fact, the actual trend in Latin countries is to hire young women because they appear to be more docile (presence in unions) and easy to manipulate, and also provide them a job until they get married or pregnant. [...]
[...] Women are wanted in this globalization for several reasons: first, because of their lack of skills; second, because they don't have the same willingness as men to gather in unions in order to protest about their working conditions and to see an evolution in their work. One of the lacks of trade theory and politics was to not make a gender differentiation between workers. In other words, it is not to take into account the effects of inequalities in work between sexes and thus also social and economic means. [...]
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