Economics is not rocket science
Gita Sen, DAWN at opening session.
A Fierce New World
“There has been an enormous increase in inequality between and within countries in the last two decades. Backlashes include viciousness against migrants in Europe. As women and part of women’s movement it is our struggle to see where we go from here.”
This Forum is a space for dialogue, to reflect on how we cantransform economic power from a feminist perspective. As Lydia Alpizar, Director of AWID, said: “When we talk about feminist visions on economics, we do not just talk about microfinance and women’s economic independence. We talk about a transformation of the macro-economy as a whole.”
Gita Sen: “If development currently is a poisoned pie, then why would women want a larger share of it? Economic growth is what development has come to mean. It has many often poisonous sources and forms: resource extraction destroys lives of indigenous people, financial markets are run away and out of control, excessive consumption, overuse unregulated exploitative and unsustainable use of resources. How can we get equality which is located in a development that is human and humanizing, how as women do we get there?”
Gita challenges Ester Boserup’s popular analysis of Women’s Role in Economic Development: “Women’s problem is not that we are marginalized in the mainstream economy, but the fact that we are included in these deeply unequal systems, in which women are situated at the bottom. In which human beings are a means for production, that need to be abstracted to the maximum.
Analysing the recent developments in the EU: “We see a hollowing out of the social state, while companies and the financial world can continue business as usual. Why is it that when there is no money for marginalized people and human rights, there is still money for businesses?”
Gita’s call for action: “Economics is not rocket science, no matter what the economists might tell you.” The main message of this AWID Forum is already emerging: women around the world, get involved in economics, get involved in sustainable development. Whether it is from a mainstream or an alternative perspective: get informed, get united, and be bold. Lydia Alpizar turned argumentation around for a change, by not only calling for women’s rights in the sustainable development agenda (think of Rio+20, Busan, etc.) but especially for attention for sustainable development in the feminist agenda.
= Joni van de Sand =