Global Women's Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Global Women's Work

Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy, 1st Edition

Edited by Beth English, Mary E. Frederickson, Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama


402 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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This volume considers how women are shaping the global economic landscape through their labor, activism, and multiple discourses about work. Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of international scholars, the book offers a gendered examination of work in the global economy and analyses the effects of the 2008 downturn on women’s labor force participation and workplace activism.

The book addresses three key themes: exploitation versus opportunity; women’s agency within the context of changing economic options; and women’s negotiations and renegotiations of unpaid social reproductive labor. This uniquely interdisciplinary and comparative analysis will be crucial reading for anyone with an interest in gender and the post-crisis world.


"This compelling collection explores how social provisioning processes have been affected by changes in the political economy following global financial crisis, especially tensions between the feminization of labor under neoliberalism and socially conservative authoritarian nationalism. Engrossing accounts of women’s collective agency in negotiating this new terrain will be relevant for scholars and students across many disciplines."

Ellen Mutari, Professor of Economics, Stockton University, USA

“Fascinating economic perspectives on 16 developed and developing countries […] I find particularly important the evidence of a reinvigorated alliance between conservative traditionalism regarding the family and marginalisation of women in the economy, in countries as diverse as the US, Russia and Iran.”

Frances Raday, President, Concord Research Center for Integration of International Law in Israel, The Haim Striks School of Law, COLMAN; Special Rapporteur, UN Human Rights Council, Expert Group on Discrimination against Women

Table of Contents

Introduction: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy Beth English, Mary E. Frederickson, and Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama Part I. Women’s Agency 1. Recognizing the Home Workplace: Making Workers through Global Labor Standards, Eileen Boris 2. Empowerment Revisited: Capitalist Development and Women Workers in China’s Reform Era, Xiaodan Zhang 3. Peasant Women’s Agency in Bolivia during the Global Recession: The Movement of the Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas Indígenas Originarias y Afrodescendentes de Bartolina Sisa, Anne Marie Ejdesgaard Jeppesen 4. Global Women’s Work in Transition: The Case of Entrepreneurial Bolivian Women in apparel production in São Paulo, 2013–2014, Katiuscia Moreno Galhera and João Paulo Candia Veiga 5. Gender Equality in the European Employment Strategy, Gabriella Berloffa, Eleonora Matteazzi, and Paola Villa 6. From Sister to Co-Worker: New Patterns of Feminization of Labor in Turkey, Esra Sarioglu 7. Gender, work, and recession: two views from the United States, Brigid O’Farrell Part II. Exploitation vs. Opportunity 8. Women in the Russian Labor Force: A Retreat from Equality?, Carol Nechemias 9. Working Poor Women in Mexico Facing Another Crisis: Domestic Workers, Struggling with Structural Disadvantages, and the 2008 Recession, Georgina Rojas-García and Mónica Patricia Toledo González 10. Women’s Work in Kenya’s Athi River Export Processing Zone: Opportunity or Exploitation?, Kelly Pike 11. Women and Trade Liberalization in Egypt, Heba Nasssar 12. Women’s University Attainment and Labor Force Participation in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, Alessandra L. González 13. The Politics of Women and Work in Iran, Valentine M. Moghadam Part III. Negotiations of Social and Reproductive Labor 14. Change and the Status Quo in Home-Based Industry in South Tamil Nadu, India: Women Beedi Workers Confront Shifts in the Organization of Labor and Capital, Meena Gopal 15. Mexican and Puerto Rican Women in Chicago: A Gendered Analysis of the 2008 Recession, Ivis Garcia and Maura I. Toro-Morn 16. The Economic Crisis and Women’s Part-Time Work in Hungary, Erika Kispeter 17. Gendered austerity policies: inequality on the rise in the European Union including Ireland, Ursula Barry 18. From Kick-Start to U-Turn? Gender Equality in Sweden, Anita Nyberg

About the Editors

Beth English is Director of the Project on Gender in the Global Community at the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Mary E. Frederickson is a Visiting Professor at Emory University in the Rollins School of Public Health, and Professor of History Emerita at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where she taught from 1988 to 2015.

Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Director of the Latin American, Caribbean and Latinx Studies Program and the Social Justice Certificate at the University of Cincinnati.

About the Series

Routledge IAFFE Advances in Feminist Economics

The International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) aims to increase the visibility and range of economic research on gender; facilitate communication among scholars, policymakers, and activists concerned with women's wellbeing and empowerment; promote discussions among policy makers about interventions which serve women's needs; educate economists, policymakers, and the general public about feminist perspectives on economic issues; foster feminist evaluations of economics as a discipline; expose the gender blindness characteristic of much social science and the ways in which this impoverishes all research - even research that does not explicitly concern women’s issues; help expand opportunities for women, especially women from underrepresented groups, within economics; and, encourage the inclusion of feminist perspectives in the teaching of economics.

The IAFFE book series pursues the aims of the organization by providing a forum in which scholars have space to develop their ideas at length and in detail. The series exemplifies the value of feminist research and the high standard of IAFFE-sponsored scholarship.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies