Working Paper No. 92 - Gender (in)equality, globalization and governance

Global processes of trade and finance are shaping employment structures and relationships, wages and working conditions, opportunities for women and men, and their participation in paid work. This paper focuses on two aspects of these global processes: first, global supply chains and production networks that reflect the current nature and pattern of international trade and investment; and second, the international migration of care services workers. These two aspects particularly illuminate women’s position and issues pertaining to gender equality. The main questions posed in this paper are: Have these two facets of globalization enhanced women’s economic opportunities and the value of their labour vis-a-vis that of men or are these generating poor conditions of employment and reinforcing social divisions along sex, ethnicity and race? Are current governance frameworks and instruments able to ensure benefits for all and protect workers from a downward spiral of employment conditions?