Tag Archives: economic rights

La carte du travail domestique des hommes dans les pays de l’OCDE/ Men’s domestic work in OECD Countries (MAP)

par Grégoire Fleurot
le jeudi 6 mars 2014

 

Si vous ne devez visiter qu’un seul site pour préparer vos discussions et débats du 8 mars, journée internationale des droits des femmes, avec vos amis, votre famille ou vos collègues, c’est celui de l’OCDE.

Le site de l’organisation internationale d’études économiques contient en effet une rubrique de statistiques se concentrant sur les inégalités entre les hommes et les femmes dans les domaines de l’éducation, du travail et de l’entrepreneuriat dans les 36 pays membres (principalement en Europe et en Amérique du Nord).

Dans cette mine de statistiques, le magazine en ligne Quartz a identifié un indicateur particulièrement intéressant, celui du temps que les hommes passent à effectuer des tâches domestiques non-rémunérées (qui incluent la cuisine, le ménage ou encore la garde des enfants). Nous avons rassemblé les données dans la carte ci-dessus, et le détail est ici:

Average-minutes-per-day-men-spend-on-unpaid-housework_chartbuilder

On peut voir que les hommes français consacrent un peu plus d’1h30 par jour aux tâches ménagères, un temps non-négligeable et bien supérieur à la moyenne des 29 pays étudiées, qui se situe juste en-dessous d’1h15. Dans un document de travail publié en février dernier, l’Institut national d’études démographiques (Ined) expliquait les récentes évolutions en matière de travail domestique dans les ménages français:

«Au cours des 25 dernières années, les hommes se sont davantage impliqués dans l’éducation des enfants, tandis que leur participation dans les autres tâches domestiques est restée stable. Les femmes ont également consacré davantage de temps aux activités parentales mais sensiblement moins à l’entretien domestique. […]

Les couples sont plutôt homogames en termes de temps passé aux tâches domestiques et le sont davantage au fil du temps. La spécialisation conjugale des tâches domestiques traditionnelle avec l’homme pourvoyeur principal de ressource a diminué, notamment dans les années 1990. Toutefois, on observe des résistances au partage plus égal des tâches domestiques, les femmes demeurant toujours les premières responsables de la bonne tenue de la maison et des membres de la famille.»

On voit dans les statistiques de l’OCDE que les hommes japonais, coréens, turcs et indiens se détachent par le très peu de temps qu’ils consacrent aux tâches ménagères. Les Indiens sont les recordmen des 29 pays étudiés avec seulement 19 minutes par jour. «L’Inde est constamment en retard dans les différentes d’égalité homme-femme», souligne Quartz, qui rappelle que les Nations unies ont placé le pays à la 132e place sur 148 de son récent index sur les inégalités homme-femme.

From: http://www.slate.fr/economie/84267/travail-domestique-hommes-carte-france-monde

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Report Stresses Need for Bold Moves toward Gender Equality at Work. Gender at Work: A Companion to the World Development Report on Jobs

Empowering women at work advances fight to end poverty, World Bank Group says

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—A new report by the World Bank Group stresses the need for bold, coordinated actions to advance equal opportunities for women in the world of work, such as addressing gender biases early, expanding women’s access to property and finance, and raising legal retirement ages—with major payoffs in tackling poverty.

By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide over the last two decades has stagnated, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally. This is despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities.

“We know that reducing gender gaps in the world of work can yield broad development dividends: improving child health and education, enhancing poverty reduction, and catalyzing productivity,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said. “This agenda is urgent. Failure to act represents a huge missed opportunity. Progress so far has been too little and too slow.”

“Today, many more girls are going to school and living longer, healthier lives than 30 or even 10 years ago. But this has not translated into broader gains,” Kim said. “Too many women still lack basic freedoms and opportunities and face huge inequalities in the world of work.”

The report says since women face multiple constraints to jobs, starting early and extending throughout their lives, progressive, broad-based, and coordinated policy action is needed to close gender gaps. A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, it says options should include mainstreaming gender equality into jobs and growth strategies, reforming legal systems, and engaging the private sector in innovative solutions to promote gender equality.

It also says social norms can exacerbate the deprivation and constraints women face. Nearly four in 10 people globally—close to one half in developing countries—agree that when jobs are scarce, men are more entitled to them than women. Common constraints faced by the most disadvantaged women include lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights.

“Poor women in particular are likely to confront multiple, overlapping constraints,” World Bank Group Gender and Development Director Joni Klugman, co–author of the report with Matthew Morton, said. “Leveling the playing field and unleashing their economic potential could be a game-changer in tackling extreme poverty.”

In Latin America and the Caribbean, women’s labor force participation has risen by 35 percent since 1990. Analysis by the World Bank Group has found that in 2010, extreme poverty would have been 30 percent higher and average income inequality 28 percent higher, were it not for women’s increased income through increased labor earnings, access to pensions, and labor force participation from 2000-2010.

Country-level diagnostics are vital to help governments in determining the best policies and more involvement by the private sector—by far the largest source of jobs—is critical, the report says. The private sector can lead the way by creating family-friendly working environment and policies, attracting women into non-traditional roles and sectors, and reviewing human resource policies and systems for addressing discrimination and harassment. And more investment is needed to fill major gaps in data and knowledge.

To advance gender equality at work, the report recommends governments target actions that cover a woman’s life cycle—saying interventions that focus only on women of productive age start too late and end too early. Biases can begin very early in life, sometimes in subtle ways, making it ultimately difficult and costly to resolve inequality.

Gender at Work recommends a range of policies for governments to consider over a woman’s lifetime:

  • During childhood and youth, policies can tackle inequalities through education and training, such as incentives for girls to attend school.
  • For women of productive age, actions to be considered include eliminating restrictions in labor and employment; allowing and encouraging women’s ownership and joint-titling of land; and enforcing equitable inheritance laws. Other strategies include family-friendly leave and flexibility policies, affordable childcare and early child development programs, and infrastructure development to reduce burdens on women’s time for household and care work. Equal access to assets and financial services are vital. Addressing constraints outside the formal sector is particularly important in low-income countries, since most people—and more so women—do not work for wages and salaries.
  • For older women, governments can support equitable old-age labor regulations combined with appropriate social protection. Retirement and pension ages for men and women should be equal and targeted programs can upgrade skills among older women willing and able to work, while pension policies can provide protection without discouraging women’s work.

The report warns that ageing populations in the developing world will become increasingly important for governments to consider. Through 2050, the old-age dependency ratio in developing countries is expected to soar by 144 percent, during which time the child dependency ratio is projected to fall by 20 percent, altering the nature of the care burden in families and societies.

“Today only half of women’s productive potential is being utilized globally. This is a waste, since gender equality in the world of work is a win-win for development and for business. The commitment must begin with fostering girls’ and boys’ skills and aspirations equally from their early years, so it stays with them long enough that they and future generations enjoy a more equitable and prosperous world,” Klugman said.

The International Labor Organization estimates almost half of women’s productive potential globally is unutilized compared to 22 percent of men’s. Closing these gender gaps could yield enormous dividends for development: A Goldman Sachs study finds that narrowing gender gaps in em­ployment could push per capita income in emerging markets up to 14 percent higher by 2020.

From: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2014/02/20/report-stresses-need-for-bold-moves-toward-gender-equality-at-work

Gender at Work: A Companion to the World Development Report on Jobs

A woman in Rajasthan, India, prepares to drive to her job as a teacher with the Education for All project. Photo: Michael Foley

  • Women around the world are more economically excluded than men.
  • Social norms affect women’s work by dictating the way they spend their time and undervaluing their potential.
  • Legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2014—Women around the world still face huge, persistent gender gaps at work, according to a new report by the World Bank Group, which calls for bold, innovative measures to level the playing field and unleash women’s economic potential.

By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide has stagnated over the past 30 years, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally, despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities.

“The reasons for this will differ from country to country, but we think that the persistence of norms—which means that women don’t have as much choice over their livelihoods as men—as well as legal barriers to work are both playing important roles,” said Jeni Klugman, World Bank Group Gender and Development Director.

A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, the report notes that since women face multiple constraints to jobs, starting early and extending throughout their lives, progressive, broad-based, and coordinated policy action is needed to close gender gaps. Common constraints include lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights.

Open Quotes

Poor women in particular are likely to confront multiple, overlapping constraints. Leveling the playing field and unleashing their economic potential could be a game-changer in tackling extreme poverty. Close Quotes

Jeni Klugman
World Bank Group Gender and Development Director and Report Co-Author

Gender at Work also finds that legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work. Restrictive laws can hinder women’s ability to access institutions, own or use property, build credit, or get a job. In 15 countries, women still require their husbands’ consent to work.

To address these inequalities, the report recommends governments target actions that cover a woman’s life cycle—saying interventions that focus only on women of productive age start too late and end too early.

“The commitment must begin with fostering girls’ and boys’ skills and aspirations equally from their early years, so it stays with them long enough that they and future generations enjoy a more equitable and prosperous world,” Klugman said.

 Gender at Work: 10 Global Facts

• Women’s labor force participation has stagnated, in fact decreasing from 57 percent in 1990 to 55 percent in 2012.

• Women on average earn between 10 and 30 percent less than working men.

• Women are only half as likely as men to have full-time wage jobs for an employer.

• In only five of the 114 countries for which data are available have women reached or surpassed gender parity with men in such occupations as legislators, senior officials, and managers; namely, Colombia, Fiji, Jamaica, Lesotho, and the Philippines.

• Women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work such as caring and housework.

• A total of 128 countries have at least one sex-based legal differentiation, meaning women and men cannot function in the world of work in the same way; in 54 countries, women face five or more legal differences.

• Across developing countries, there is a nine percentage point gap between women and men in having an account at a formal financial institution.

• More than one in three women has experienced either physical or sexual violence by a partner or non-partner sexual violence.

• In 2010-12, 42 countries reported gender gaps in secondary school enrollment rates exceeding 10 percent.

• One in three girls in developing countries is married before reaching her 18th birthday.

From: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/gender/publication/gender-at-work-companion-report-to-world-development-report-2013-jobs

5 Innovative Trends in Women’s Economic Equality

Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society – including better health and education outcomes, more resilient societies, reinvestment in communities, and greater prosperity. While there has been overall progress globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the greatest barriers in asserting their economic rights.

To help break through these barriers, the Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA online competition, launched by Ashoka Changemakers and General Electric, was launched to support innovations that enable full economic participation by women. Nine competition finalists have emerged who are building quality livelihoods and securing economic rights for women across the region. The competition is also uncovering a series of trends that demonstrate how investing in women’s economic equality is smart.

The Women Powering Work competition received 107 applications from more than 23 countries, spanning very diverse economic, social, and political contexts. In the spirit of open learning and collaboration, below is a list of the finalists and the themes that are emerging from their solutions.

 

https://i2.wp.com/b-i.forbesimg.com/ashoka/files/2013/12/6861301274_1038d0bc79_b_2_1.jpg

 

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2013/12/13/5-innovative-trends-in-womens-economic-equality/

 

Parental leave in France: adoption by the Senate of a draft bill on gender equality

Congé parental: projet de loi sur l’égalité hommes-femmes adopté

 

AFP

Le Sénat a adopté en première lecture, dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, le projet de loi sur l'égalité des femmes et des hommes, dont la mesure phare, la réforme du congé parental, est destinée à inciter davantage de pères à le prendre

Le Sénat a adopté en première lecture, dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, le projet de loi sur l’égalité des femmes et des hommes, dont la mesure phare, la réforme du congé parental, est destinée à inciter davantage de pères à le prendre.

L’ensemble de la gauche et les centristes de l’UDI-UC ont voté à main levée pour le texte, l’UMP seul se prononçant contre.

“L’UMP ne voit pas dans ce projet de loi la grande loi-cadre sur l’égalité femmes-hommes que vous annonciez”, a justifié André Reichardt. “Le groupe UMP n’a pas obtenu satisfaction sur ses amendements.

Muguette Dini (UDI-UC) a souligné pour sa part la qualité “remarquable” des débats. Si elle est satisfaite du volet consacré a la lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes, elle s’est déclarée moins convaincue par la partie congé parental.

Catherine Tasca (PS) a parlé de “première manche” “puisque bien des objectifs de ce texte ne seront réalisés que si nous progressons de manière déterminée en matière d’égalité salariale”.

“Nous ne sommes pas là pour mener la guerre des sexes: nous avons la responsabilité historique d’accélérer sur notre route vers l’égalité”, avait annoncé la ministre des Droits des femmes, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem en présentant le texte.

Une garantie contre les impayés des pensions alimentaires

Avec la réforme du congé parental, actuellement pris à 97% par les femmes, le gouvernement veut s’attaquer à “l’inégale répartition des responsabilités parentales” et lutter contre l’éloignement des mères du marché du travail.

A partir du 1er juillet 2014, les parents d’un seul enfant, qui ont aujourd’hui droit à six mois de congé, pourront prendre six mois de plus, à condition que ce soit le second parent qui en bénéficie. A partir de deux enfants, la durée du congé restera de trois ans à condition que six mois soient pris par le second parent, sinon elle sera raccourcie à deux ans et demi.

Une garantie contre les impayés des pensions alimentaires

Le gouvernement escompte que le nombre d’hommes en congé parental passera de 18.000 actuellement à 100.000 d’ici la fin du quinquennat.

Les sénateurs ont également donné leur feu vert à l’expérimentation d’un mécanisme de garantie contre les impayés de pensions alimentaires dans les Caisses d’allocations familiales (CAF) d’une dizaine de départements. La CAF se substituera au parent défaillant dès le premier mois pour verser une allocation de soutien familial, puis elle se retournera contre le débiteur. On estime que 40% des pensions alimentaires ne sont pas versées, ou ne le sont que partiellement.

Le dispositif de l’ordonnance de protection des femmes contre les violences sera renforcé: durée maximale portée de quatre à six mois, délivrance plus rapide. Le principe du maintien de la victime de violences dans le logement du couple et de l’éviction du conjoint violent sera posé. La médiation pénale ne sera possible que si la victime en fait la demande.

Les téléphones de “grande urgence”, destinés à alerter la police en cas de menace par le conjoint violent, seront généralisés.

La justice pourra condamner le conjoint violent à suivre à ses frais un stage de “responsabilisation”, pour lutter contre la récidive.

De leur côté, les entreprises condamnées pour discrimination ou non-respect des dispositions en matière d’égalité professionnelle ne pourront pas soumissionner aux marchés publics, une disposition vivement combattue par l’UMP.

Les sénateurs ont aussi interdit les concours de beauté pour les enfants de moins de 16 ans, les concours de “mini-miss”, en adoptant un amendement de la centriste Chantal Jouanno qui prévoit une sanction de deux ans d’emprisonnement et 30.000 d’amendes pour les personnes qui organisent ces concours.

Ils ont adopté un amendement RDSE (à majorité PRG) prévoyant “de privilégier dans l’intérêt des enfants la résidence alternée quand c’est possible” en cas de divorce des parents, alors que cette garde est généralement confiée aux femmes seules.

Parmi les autres mesures figure le doublement des sanctions financières à l’égard des partis politiques ne respectant pas les objectifs de parité à partir des législatives de 2017. D’autres mesures ont trait notamment à la parité dans les instances sportives ou à l’image de la femme dans les médias audiovisuels.

From: http://fr.news.yahoo.com/s%C3%A9nat-vote-r%C3%A9forme-cong%C3%A9-parental-141452417.html

 

Experts: Poor to bear burden of Egypt’s IMF loan

July 01, 2013 12:57 AM
By Olivia Alabaster
The Daily Star
FILE - In this Thursday, June 27, 2013 file photo, Egyptians shop for food at a popular market in Cairo, Egypt.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
FILE – In this Thursday, June 27, 2013 file photo, Egyptians shop for food at a popular market in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
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CAIRO: Experts warn any IMF loan package to Egypt will have dangerous long-term effects on the country’s most marginalized citizens, and that the secrecy surrounding the negotiations represents a threat to democracy. The government has been in talks with the International Monetary Fund for more than a year now over a $4.8 billion loan to help tackle the growing state budget deficit, which stood at $26.4 billion in May, according to the Finance Ministry.

The IMF is due to respond to the recently submitted reform program in the coming weeks, but details of the negotiations and conditions for the loan have not been made public.

At a regional conference in Cairo over the weekend, held by the New Woman Foundation in conjunction with Lebanon-based CRTD-A, a gender research NGO, delegates went into details of the 2013/2014 budget, recently passed by the Shura Council, many elements of which they said would be crippling to the poorest and most sidelined citizens, including women.

Head of the research institute at the Bank of Egypt, Salwa al-Antari documented how the economy had suffered since the January 2011 revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

“After a revolution which asked for certain slogans, it has gotten worse,” she said, blaming the current situation on a failure of management and a lack of good governance.

She also blamed management of the economy under Mubarak, saying that “the majority of the population before the revolution never felt the fruits of growth rates.”

While it was natural, she said, that a period of instability and financial insecurity would follow any revolution – with $9 billion in foreign reserves leaving the country in the first six months postrevolution – people were initially optimistic that the country would soon get back on its feet.

“We had the necessary infrastructure and factories, so all they would need was good management, more efficient policies … people thought. But unfortunately what happened was the opposite.”

The growth rate before the revolution stood at 5.1 percent, but by the second half of 2012 it fell to 2.2 percent. The current Cabinet has set a target of 3.5 percent, but as Antari said, “There are no signs that the situation has improved. All indicators show that the situation is deteriorating and I believe that if we manage to maintain the 2.2 percent rate of last year that would be an achievement.”

On tourism, which has always been an important pillar of the economy, Antari said that she believed the current Muslim Brotherhood-led government was intentionally mismanaging the sector.

“Whenever there are efforts to revive tourism, we find there is something intentional to stop this,” she said, citing irresponsible statements that had been issued, including claims that “Pharaonic monuments are blasphemous, that tourists only wear bikinis and drink alcohol.”

“It became obvious that there are methodological efforts to prevent tourism,” she added, including the reduction of money allocated to boosting tourism in the latest state budget and the temporary appointment of a jihadist governor of Luxor, a crucial area for tourism.

Employment too has suffered, with unemployment increasing from 9 percent before the revolution to 13 percent today, and 27 percent for women.

Those living below the poverty line – which is defined as earning just $36 per month – account for 25 percent of the population.

Antari warned that the government of Mohammad Mursi saw borrowing as the only solution for this dire situation.

Egyptian business journalist Musbah Katub said that when Mursi assumed office exactly one year ago, foreign borrowing stood at $34 billion. In the last year alone this has increased by $11 billion.

He labeled the ongoing negotiations a “bad game being played between the IMF and Mursi’s government. …I believe the current system aims at making Egypt drown in more and more foreign indebtedness,” leaving it more susceptible to other country’s desires.

“It will be very easy after that to impose conditions on the country, and the first thing they will bargain with is the Suez Canal,” he added.

Decreasing the budget deficit through such austere measures, was not worth the costs to the people of Egypt, Katub said.

“This will have adverse effects on vulnerable groups, and women will pay high costs. The whole situation is really risky and dangerous,” he added.

The new state budget increases the sales tax on a number of goods, which speakers said would unfairly hit the poorest in society. Income tax of 10 percent will be imposed upon anyone earning $65 per month, and the maximum bracket, for those earning over $35,000 a year, is just 25 percent.

Mohammad Guad, another business journalist, slammed the sales tax as “a regressive tax with very violent social impact,” and one which would most affect women, as they generally are responsible for managing the household budget.

He also said the economic policies of the government “gave the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood are against social justice and democracy.”

“The short term impacts look easy and manageable, but it’s vital to look at the long-term impacts of the conditions for the loan,” Katub said.

Economist Ahmad al-Hajjar backed these comments, saying that the country was witnessing “the same policies as under Mubarak, but just with less efficiency.”

He also said it was shameful that while women used to account for 29 percent of the workforce, they had now fallen to 23 percent, while “in the rest of the Arab region the share of women in the workforce has gone up,” and called for recognition of women’s work within the home.

Delegates at the conference, which was funded by Oxfam NOVIB and held under the Women’s Learning Partnership international banner, came up with recommendations for fairer economic justice, including increased access to information for all citizens, in particular women, so that they were aware of their rights and responsibilities, in order to best achieve political and economic empowerment.

On the lack of transparency surrounding the negotiations, Lina Abou Habib, director of CRTD-A, also asked, “Can we talk about democracy when the fate of people’s lives is not being openly discussed?”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Middle-East/2013/Jul-01/222081-experts-poor-to-bear-burden-of-egypts-imf-loan.ashx#ixzz2a37xvmzr
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

As Instability Grows, IMF Loan Could Threaten Egypt’s Most Vulnerable

Posted on 29 June 2013 by

By Olivia Alabaster, on behalf of WLP Lebanon/CRTD.A

Saturday, June 29

CAIRO: The implications of an IMF loan package to Egypt were discussed in further detail on the second day of a regional conference on economic justice and women’s rights Saturday organised by CRTD.A/WLP-Lebanon.

Egyptian workers march to Shura Council on May Day 2013 (cc) Gigi Ibrahim

Egyptian workers march to Shura Council on May Day 2013 (cc) Gigi Ibrahim

In the first session Mohammed Guad, from Al-Shourouk newspaper, spoke of how the conditions which the IMF loan deal stipulates would most negatively affect the poor and marginalized sectors of society, including women.

He also described Egypt’s regional importance, stating that were the pound to collapse here, it would undoubtedly have knock-on effects across the Middle East, and suggested that faith in a country’s economy was closely linked to the political system.

“Trust in a country’s economy happens when democracy prevails,” he said.

Talking of the new state budget for Egypt, Guad slammed the sales tax as a “regressive tax with a very violent social impact.” He added that it would have bad consequences for women, who normally have to manage the household expenses and said in general the state budget gave the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood are “against social justice and democracy.”

He also stressed the need for civil society to increase efforts to speak out against the IMF loan and said that, “As seen by the previous parliament, members of parliament are not necessarily best representatives of the people, so civil society needs to step up. ”We should not remain subject to things imposed on us by others,” he added.

In groups, participants then discussed alternative approaches to achieving economic justice and equality for women.

Proposals focused on the need to expand access to information and knowledge for women across the board, and the need for political and economic empowerment to go hand in hand. It was also suggested that NGOs better network with each other, to share information and collaborate on advocacy efforts.

Another suggestion was better lobbying of politicians, as well as the need to submit regular reports to relevant actors in government.

A grassroots approach was stressed, including the need for education on women’s rights and duties, to better enable a politically aware society and an understanding of the long-term effects of an IMF loan, which in turn could help boost opposition to it.

In conclusion, Lina Abou-Habib, director of CRTD-A, said that while the conference had focused on Egypt, the lessons learned were relevant to countries across the region. Speakers had agreed, she said, on the dangers of the secrecy surrounding the ongoing negotiations. “Can we talk about democracy when the fate of people’s lives is not being openly discussed?” she asked. Abou-Habib also introduced the launch of the WLP global campaign entitled “Stand with Women Who Stand for Democracy” and the timeliness of the Campaign for both Egypt and other Arab countries in the throes of post revolts transformations. The New Women Foundation and the Equality without Reservation Coalition, both co-organisers of the events, will be launching the Campaign on their social media.

From : http://www.blog.learningpartnership.org/2013/06/egypt-imf/

Amidst New Waves of Protest, Activists Consider Economic Justice & Women’s Rights

Posted on 28 June 2013 by

By Olivia Alabaster, on behalf of WLP Lebanon/CRTD.A

CAIRO: On the opening day of WLP-Lebanon/CRTD.A’s regional conference on economic justice and women’s rights, delegates representing women’s organisations from Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Bahrain and Morocco met in Cairo to discuss the implications of Egypt’s current IMF (International Monetary Fund) negotiations for women.

An Egyptian woman worker stacks bricks at a brickyard kiln factory near the town of Mansoura city, 210 km north of Cairo in March 30, 2008 (cc) Nasser Nouri

An Egyptian woman worker stacks bricks at a brickyard kiln factory near the town of Mansoura city, 210 km north of Cairo in March 30, 2008 (cc) Nasser Nouri

In the opening plenary, Lina Abou-Habib, director of the Lebanese NGO CRTD-A (WLP’s partner in Lebanon), said that the theme was chosen as the IMF negotiations are an urgent matter, but due to the lack of transparency surrounding the talks, “very few of us are aware of the negotiations.”

“Attention and involvement in the issue is crucial,” she added, as “it does affect all of us.”

The first speaker, Dr. Salwa al-Antari, former head of the research institute at the Bank of Egypt, laid out the economic state of the country, and detailed how the situation has deteriorated since the revolution in 2011.

“After a revolution which asked for certain slogans, it has gotten worse. Why is this?” she asked, putting the blame on a failure of management and a lack of good governance.

However she also blamed the Mubarak government for the situation today.

“The revolution was the best proof that all the policies adopted before were complete failures,” she said “the majority of population before the revolution never felt the fruits of growth rates.”

She painted a stark portrait — a country experiencing high unemployment, ever slowing growth and high poverty.

After the revolution, foreign investment left the country – some $9 billion in the first six months alone.

The tourism sector – one vital to the country – has also suffered greatly, she said, thanks to the instability and also to deliberate neglect of the sector by government officials.

“It became obvious that there are methodological efforts to prevent tourism,” she said, citing comments from politicians and the recent appointment of an Islamist governor of the Luxor region.

She criticized the current Mursi government for looking to borrowing as the only solution for a growing budget deficit, and its 2013-2014 state budget plans, which was recently passed by the Shura Council.

Sales tax increases will most seriously affect those already struggling, and income tax rules – with 25% for the highest bracket – do not go far enough, and exempt only those who earn less than 456 Egyptian pounds a month, ($65).

To summarise, she said that any “IMF loan will impact upon poor people and women will be the worst affected.”

Business journalist Musbah Katub spoke next, and was skeptical over the worth of any IMF loan.

He described the ongoing negotiations between Mursi’s government and the IMF as a “bad game,” with the latter trying to “trap countries into indebtment… when they are unable to pay it back.”

“I believe the current proposal aims at making Egypt drown in more and more foreign indebtness,” he said, adding that when Mursi assumed office there was $34 billion of debt, a figure which has increased by $11 billion in his first year of office.

He also said that the only reason Egypt has been able to ride out these economic dark days thus far is all the unpaid work that women do.

Any IMF loan, he said, would see “women paying off high costs.”

Lastly, economist Dr. Ahmad al-Hajjar slammed the current government’s policies: “we are seeing the same policies as under Mubarak, but with less efficiency.”

The government, he said, was taking out this IMF loan to manage the state budget deficit, but it is holding the next generations responsible for paying it off.

That women’s involvement in the workforce has dropped from 29% to 23%, he said, was shameful, and were this to increase it would “help the entire country have a good productive system,” rather than merely relying on foreign loans which leave the country more susceptible to external meddling.

This Conference was organised as part of a regional programme on gender equality and economic justice including Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and Egypt and funded by Oxfam-Novib. The outcomes of this event is expected to feed into a regional policy dialogue process aiming identifying strategies to support women’s involved in economic policy formulation.

From: http://www.blog.learningpartnership.org/2013/06/egypt-imf-women-economic-justice/

Les femmes au travail, c’est bon pour la croissance!

LE MONDE | 17.12.2012 à 11h34 • Mis à jour le 17.12.2012 à 12h09 | Par Annie Kahn

 La très sérieuse Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques (OCDE) révèle une nouvelle raison d’affirmer que “la femme est l’avenir de l’homme”.

Si davantage de personnes de la gent féminine entraient dans la vie active, c’est-à-dire exerçaient un travail rémunéré, la croissance économique mondiale bénéficierait d’un véritable “coup de fouet”, affirment les experts de l’OCDE dans un rapport intitulé “Inégalités hommes-femmes, il est temps d’agir”, publié lundi 17 décembre.

“Toute diminution de 50% de l’écart hommes-femmes en termes de taux d’activité devrait aboutir à une hausse du taux de croissance du produit intérieur brut par habitant de 0,3 point de pourcentage ; et de 0,6 point dans l’hypothèse d’une convergence totale d’ici à 2030, ont-ils calculé, en se basant sur les taux de croissance à long terme des économistes de l’Organisation. Ce qui équivaut à une progression totale de 12 % du PIB sur vingt ans.”

Les pays qui en bénéficieraient le plus, parce que partant de plus loin, sont l’Italie, dont le PIB progresserait de 22,5 % sur vingt ans, ainsi que la Corée du Sud, la Grèce, la Hongrie et le Japon. En France, le résultat serait plus modeste, avec une augmentation de 9,4 %.

PLUS DE TEMPS À TRAVAILLER

Mais, pour qu’il en soit ainsi, plusieurs conditions doivent être réunies. Le partage des tâches doit en particulier devenir plus équitable. Car si les femmes sont moins nombreuses que les hommes à exercer une activité rémunérée, elles passent globalement plus de temps à travailler – de façon rémunérée ou pas – que les hommes dans la quasi-totalité des pays de l’OCDE.

L’Inde et le Portugal font partie des plus mauvais élèves. C’est dans ces pays que le temps de travail global est le plus inégal, en défaveur des femmes. La France se situe dans la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE. En revanche, les temps de travail sont globalement équilibrés en Allemagne et au Royaume-Uni. Dans ces deux pays, le surcroît de travail non rémunéré exercé par les femmes équivaut au surcroît de travail rémunéré exercé par les hommes.

Pour que davantage de femmes puissent entrer dans la vie “active”, il est donc nécessaire de permettre à tous, hommes et femmes, de mieux équilibrer vie personnelle et vie familiale. Les jeunes de la génération Y, pour qui ce serait le voeu le plus cher, ont donc encore du pain sur la planche.

PEU NOMBREUSES EN HAUT DE L’ÉCHELLE

Ouvrir davantage les portes du marché du travail aux femmes implique aussi de “modifier les stéréotypes sexués”, rappelle ce rapport. Car si les filles ont de meilleurs résultats scolaires en fin de secondaire dans de nombreux pays de l’OCDE, elles continuent d’être moins nombreuses à s’orienter vers des études scientifiques et techniques.

Elles sont également sous-représentées dans le secteur des entreprises et à l’inverse en grand nombre dans la santé, l’aide sociale, l’enseignement et l’administration. Parce qu’elles perçoivent ces métiers comme plus compatible avec leurs tâches familiales ; mais aussi par reproduction de schémas culturels.

 

Il n’est donc guère étonnant que les femmes soient aussi peu nombreuses en haut de l’échelle hiérarchique. “Les femmes occupent moins d’un tiers des postes de direction dans la zone OCDE”, précise le rapport. La France apparaît comme le pays le moins machiste à cet égard. Environ 37 % des postes de direction y sont détenues par des femmes. En revanche, le Luxembourg, pays de la finance reine, est le plus mal noté.

Les écarts de rémunérations restent aussi marqués, en particulier parmi les plus hauts revenus. Mais l’écart salarial entre hommes et femmes est plus resserré en France que dans la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE.

MOINS NOMBREUSES À CRÉER LEUR ENTREPRISE

Les femmes sont aussi moins nombreuses que les hommes à créer leur entreprise. “Par crainte des conséquences juridiques et sociales d’un éventuel échec de leur entreprise”, rapportent les experts de l’OCDE.

 

Alors que “les nouvelles entreprises détenues par des femmes affichent de meilleurs scores en terme de créations d’emplois sur trois ans que celles détenues par des hommes en France, en Italie, en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Pologne, tandis qu’elles accusent un certain retard en Finlande, aux Pays-Bas, en République slovaque et en Suisse“, précise le rapport.

Il souligne également le rôle que pourraient jouer les financiers dans cette sous-représentation des femmes créatrices d’entreprises. “Les investisseurs en capital-risque sont principalement des hommes”, peut-on y lire. Le pays le plus vertueux à cet égard est l’Autriche, avec 30 % d’investisseurs féminins. La Corée du Sud n’en compterait aucune. Et la France se situe en haut du peloton, avec un peu plus de 20 % de femmes.

Annie Kahn

From: http://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2012/12/17/les-femmes-au-travail-c-est-bon-pour-la-croissance_1807301_3234.html

Workshop on Women’s Invisible Work: Taking Steps Forward in Egypt

 

 

Around 30 participants coming from various Egyptian organisations gathered on the 25th and 26th of June at the Association of  Upper Egypt for Education and Development (AUEED) to reflect on women’s invisible work at the global, regional and national level and strengthen their communications and social media capacity, within the framework of the Collective for Research and Training on Development – Action led project Sustainable Economic Opportunities for Women, currently being implemented in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco.

Participants came from all over Egypt from the Future Eve association, the New Woman Foundation, the Association of  Upper Egypt for Education and Development, the Badia Foundation, the Egyptian Association for Sustainable Development, the Forum of Women in Development and the Evangelical Association for Comprehensive Development.

During two days, participants worked on the meanings of women’s work amidst political changes in Egypt. The first day of the workshop was dedicated to a short summary of what has been achieved so far in terms of research and round tables on the  topic of women’s work in the informal sector and of domestic work. Papers prepared by CRTD.A consultants Ms Rabea Naciri and Tina Wallace, dealing with women’s informal work in the MENA region and in Lebanon, were briefly presented, along with the debates that have been organised in Lebanon on mainstream indicators and the ideologies underlying them and on women’s informal work in Lebanon. The glaring results of these studies so far have been that women’s work at home and in the informal sector, while being absolutely crucial to household economics and society as a whole, is rarely recognized, let alone valued and accounted for. This is particularly oppressive to women as in the MENA region, the overwhelming majority of women work in the informal sector and/or at home, carrying the bulk of society’s reproduction, while official indicators still estimate the female activity rate at around 20%, one of the lowest in the world.

The issue of accounting for and accurately measuring women’s participation to the economy has been extensively tackled afterwards by the resource person coming from the WIDE Network, Ms Bénédicte Allaert who questioned in her presentation mainstream indicators that we usually take for granted, such as the GDP or what constitutes work under the ILO definition. Ms Allaert went on to demonstrate that these indicators indeed did not paint an accurate picture of economic realities, globally and in the region. Participants were then invited to break into groups and work on the concepts of women’s informal work, women’s work in the household, gender stereotypes pertaining to what is perceived as “women’s work” and the three roles women have to play (productive, reproductive and in the community) paid work/unpaid work, and women in the formal sector. The outcome of the group work was the very purpose of it: participants had different understandings of the concepts, highlighting that what is being measured and studied in the economy is only the tip of the iceberg, with most of economic relationships happening unnoticed and invisible.  This knowledge and research will serve as a basis to inform and influence future and global public policies in order to improve the protection, respect and fulfilment of women’s economic rights.

The role of neo-liberal policies and their impact coupled with the impact of the economic crisis on Egyptian women were also discussed. In Egypt, lack of employment opportunities and long-standing weak social protection and work conditions systems were only worsened by the decrease in foreign investment brought about by the economic crisis, as well as the decrease in tourism. The impact of that depression in the economy was first and foremost borne by women who had to endure massive losses of jobs, and carry on the majority of the housework load.

The second day was articulated around social media and on how can Facebook Twitter and blogs help raise awareness on this topic and allow for partner to stay in touch in between physical meetings. The workshop ended with participants drafting action plans to carry the project forward, with the ultimate aim to change not only policies and laws, but also mentalities.

Stay in touch as we will soon publish interviews with Egyptian women on their points of view on why the issue of women’s work is important and relevant!

Fact Sheet – The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation

The Gender Wage Gap by Occupation
by Ariane Hegewisch, Claudia Williams, Vanessa Harbin (April 2012)

Women’s median earnings are lower than men’s in nearly all occupations, whether they work in occupations predominantly done by women, occupations predominantly done by men, or occupations with a more even mix of men and women. This study was done for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-gender-wage-gap-by-occupation-1)

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