Women and the Economy: Overview
Women’s participation in the economy occurs on multiple levels: household, community, country, and international.
A woman’s economic empowerment is central to her empowerment politically, socially, and culturally. Worldwide, women face legal economic gender discrimination, obstacles in hiring and management, and adverse social and cultural perceptions and traditions.
Division of labor by gender is an age-old practice, and is not inherently discriminatory.
- In practice, what makes division of labor unequal is when women are denied choices or control over their work and when their work is valued differently than men’s. This is currently the case, in varying degrees, in every modern economy.
- It is generally accepted that in no society in the world do women enjoy complete gender equality in the area of employment.
- When unpaid as well as informal and formal paid labor is counted, women everywhere work more total hours than men. The trend begins early in life in the discrepancy between girls and boys. The only exception shown by expert Joni Seager appears to be in the Netherlands, where men work 10% more than women.
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Next: Women and the Economy: Unpaid Work