Women poverty and economic development
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Women, Poverty and Economic Development. Madeline Berma Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia [email protected] The status of women in society is a good indicator of a dynamic and progressive country. Women are the cornerstone of happy families and the essence of a successful nation.

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Women, Poverty and Economic Development

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Women poverty and economic development

Women, Poverty and Economic Development

Madeline Berma

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

[email protected]


Women poverty and economic development

  • The status of women in society is a good indicator of a dynamic and progressive country. Women are the cornerstone of happy families and the essence of a successful nation.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib


Women poverty and economic development

  • Empowering women is key to economic development

“Increasing gender equality and women’s empowerment, as a means of accelerating growth and development, is an end in itself”

Asha-Rose Migiro

Deputy Secretary-General


Women poverty and economic development

Malaysia one of the emerging “Tigers” in Asia in terms of its economic achievements.


Economic growth

Economic Growth

  • Income: USD3,380

  • Social:

    • Educational level has risen,

    • Equal opportunities provided for both males and females.

    • Improvement in health conditions


Economic growth1

Economic Growth

  • Change in size and structure of households.

  • Predominance of nuclear households in place of extended households,

  • Emergence of:

    • single member households

    • female-headed households

    • “Ibu tunggal” vs “Ibu tinggal” –

    • “Indai blues” (Sarawak?)

  • Economic Shocks

  • Poverty


Women poverty and economic development1

Women, Poverty and Economic Development

  • Economic Participation

  • Globalisation

  • Economic Shocks

  • Poverty


A economic participation

(a) Economic Participation

  • Labor force participation

    • Women - 47 percent

    • Men - 80 percent

  • Employment

    • Manufacturing

    • Other services


Labor force participation rate 2004 2008

Labor Force Participation Rate, 2004-2008 (%)


Employment distribution by sectors and gender 1995 2005

Employment Distribution by Sectors and Gender, 1995 - 2005 (%)


Employment distribution by gender within sectors 1995 2005

Employment Distribution by Gender within Sectors, 1995 - 2005 (%)


Women poverty and economic development2

Women, Poverty and Economic Development

  • Economic Participation

  • Globalisation

  • Economic Shocks

  • Poverty


Globalisation

Globalisation

  • Market Fragmentation – (niche)

  • Outsourcing, downsizing, subcontract

  • Use of ICT

  • New jobs

    • functional flexibility (multiskilling)

    • numeric flexibility (adjusting quantities by task)

    • financial flexibility (wage rate adjustment)

    • More part time, short-term, temporary jobs


A globalisation

(a) Globalisation

  • Competitiveness

    • women are now a permanent part of the global workforce

    • women workers are the engine of globalisation –

    • Preponderance of women in export oriented industries

    • Increase in women in the workforce

    • Economic independence vs double burden

    • Women workers suffer the worst working conditions, poorest pay and have to care for children and other dependants.


Global subcontracting network

Global Subcontracting Network

Source: Oxfam International, 2004;


Women poverty and economic development

Women workers in a Nike production factory, Vietnam


Women poverty and economic development3

Women, Poverty and Economic Development

  • Economic Participation

  • Globalisation

  • Economic Shocks

  • Poverty


B economic shocks

(b) Economic Shocks

  • Women are high risk

  • Concentrate in export-oriented industries (electronics, garment) and services; men in construction.

  • women as “buffer workforce” - concentrated in non-regular employment, in unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, and in low pay levels.

  • unlikely to be covered by social insurance

  • Will be the first to lose their job and to suffer heavily from a decline in level of living.

  • Very limited alternative job prospects


B economic shocks1

(b) Economic Shocks

  • High social costs to families of workers

  • Male-breadwinner, female-caregiver bias

  • Increased demand for women: a cheaper labour substitute for men’s labour?

  • Unpaid care work & women’s double burden: heavier for the poor in hard times, their time will be stretched between paid work and unpaid care work at the cost of the welfare of young children and the sick and their own personal health.


Malaysia s real gross domestic product 2004 2008

Malaysia’s Real Gross Domestic Product, 2004-2008


Malaysia s real gdp industrial production 2000 2008

MALAYSIA'S REAL GDP & INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION,2000-2008


Percentage of surveyed manufacturing smes response to crisis 2008

Percentage of Surveyed Manufacturing SMEs Response to Crisis, 2008

Source: Adapted from Hafsah, 2009 (Public Lecture at UKM)

Source: Adapted from Hafsah, 2009 (Public Lecture at UKM)


Surveyed smes response to the global crisis 2008

Surveyed SMEs Response to the Global Crisis, 2008

Source: Adapted from Hafsah, 2009 (Public Lecture at UKM)


Retrenchment of workers from 1 st october 2008 30 th june 2009

Retrenchment of Workers from 1st October 2008 – 30th June 2009

Source: Ragayah & Faridah (2010)


Women poverty and economic development

Retrenchment by Category of Occupation, Citizenship

and Gender, January – July 2009

Source: Ragayah & Faridah (2010)


Women poverty and economic development4

Women, Poverty and Economic Development

  • Economic Participation

  • Globalisation

  • Economic Shocks

  • Poverty


C poverty

(c) Poverty

  • Poor and vulnerable

    • Children

    • Elderly

    • Handicapped

    • Indigenous

    • female-headed households


C poverty1

(c) Poverty

  • Micro-finance for micro-businessess : “valuable lifeline” for women

  • Fear reduction in supply of loans for microfinance.

  • Withdrawal of subsidies


Women poverty and economic development

Income Per Capita, 2000 (US$)


Women poverty and economic development

Incidence of Poverty in Malaysia, 1970 – 2004


C poverty2

(c) Poverty

  • Emerging households (single-headed, nuclear family) important in a study on poverty

  • Invisibility in statistics:

    • An older woman living with adult children is more likely to be listed as a household head rather than a younger woman who has to bear economic responsibility for herself and her children.

    • A woman is seldom listed as the household head in the presence of a regular adult male of the same generation (Tey, 1991, p. 11).

  • Malaysia – targetted poverty


C poverty3

(c) Poverty

  • Female Headed Households:

    • Households with no male spouse or partner present at any time;

    • Households where the male partner is a transient resident;

    • Households from which the male spouse or partner is temporarily absent;

    • Households in which the male spouse or partner is present, but his contribution to the economic maintenance of the household is marginal;

    • Households from which the male spouse or partner is absent, but one or more adult males are in residence.


C poverty4

(c) Poverty

  • Social issues:

    • Ibu tunggal vs ibu tinggal

    • Indai blues and family breakdown – (Indigenous communities, Sarawak)


C poverty5

(c) Poverty

  • The government targets to create 4,000 women entrepreneurs among the hardcore poor, who are those with a household monthly income of less than RM440, by 2012.

  • (Bernama, 17 March, 2010


Women in development plans

Women in Development Plans

  • Sixth Malaysia Plan: “…Since women constitute a vital economic resource, the Government’s goal is therefore to integrate women as equal partners in nation building.”

  • Eighth Malaysia Plan: “ … Women constitute an important resource that can be mobilized … as equal partners in national development”

  • Ninth Malaysia Plan:“important resource that can be mobilised to achieve the national development agenda”

  • Tenth Malaysia Plan: “Empowering women a key agenda by increasing numbers in decision making, labour force, support for widows, single mothers and low-income women…Eliminating all forms of discrimination against women


Putrajaya declaration

Putrajaya Declaration

Survey Output


Women poverty and economic development

SURVEY OUTPUT :

EXPERT GROUP SURVEY ON PUTRAJAYA DECLARATION


Key questions

Key Questions

  • Key issues raised in the Putrajaya Declaration

  • Other key questions

    • What is the role of women’s income in total household income?

    • Does the male breadwinner-female caregiver model fits reality?

    • Family coping mechanism in times of crisis – who will do what?

    • How to respond with a gender perspective?

    • How to engage women in social dialogue and participation in managing and addressing economic crisis – Women’s voices?

    • Why is there a need to conduct gender-dissagregated analysis of labor impact.


Thank you

Thank You


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