February 28, 2013

WOMEN IN THE POLITICAL ECONOMYAND THE STRUGGLE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 In the past outcome of the Conference of Parties COP 18 Qatar, Doha, countries agreed to sign the Kyoto Protocol; as a policy analyst one would agree that the stages in policy process are interlinked and that sometimes formation and implementation embraces the other. It is a question to have policies and another it implement it. Doha negotiations brought the world from climate change to climate crisis. Climate change is a global issue and must be addressed; Kenya as to the countries of the South we still fall to the periphery of the world system and that we are still dependent of the North; this brings to the attention woman and youth in the South are in the bottom of the world system.

International political economy is characterized by survival for the fittest and those with economic muscles will excel. The Marxist school of thought holds that the female gender is a property of the patriarchal society. She is a laborer owned by this institution. The world system theory holds that the world is one political economy and that the worlds pie is not shared equally on the other hand dependency theory has caused carbon millage which brings about green house gasses. Many countries in the North produce secondary and tertiary products while the South produces raw products. Women in the south are the majority laborers yet they are not reflected in the economy; culture, socialization and the church has caused underpinning to women since they do not inherit property, they have no right to control productive capital and they play consumptive role and not productive role. It is important to note that they are not reflected in the economy and yet they are being exploited. 

When I visited some of the flower companies in Naivasha, Kenya I noticed many laborers are women, they work tirelessly with gross salary of ten thousand Kenya shillings a month with the high Kenyan economy and extreme working conditions yet valentine is a special day and lovers buy flowers at a very high price to express their love to loved ones. Women are being used affectively and not effectively. Climate change is a reality in the world and in the countries of the south women suffer more because of their consumptive role they play; they majorly produce for the households which depend on them and also fight for their legal autonomy by working outside their family to put bread on the table. 

Economists use Gross NationalIncome GNI and Gross Domestic Product GDP to measure national development which is not a true indication of development. Comprehensive development must reflect the entire populace; people must be able to afford basic needs. Women in the South are the majority laborers yet in economic development they are not reflected; they are not eligible to own land, to own production and they are not allowed in the political process. they are only a statistic in the developmental issue.

Globalization has eroded sovereignty to become a global village; the third world still suffer because there is still no balance in the economic structure of the international system; the Cereals for example are bought from the cereal boards by famers. In the African tradition there was a scientific technique to preserve cereals for the next planting season which was not expensive while today cereals are being bought from cereal cooperatives; this has made the famers who the majority are women suffer from dependency because the climate patterns are not predicted and the outcome of the harvest is also unknown causing farmers/women to be on debt. 

Feminism still suffers big time; there are different strands of feminisms that is the Western feminism which addresses equality while the Third World feminism addresses equity. This accommodative of diversity has led to a prolonged struggle towards the realization of women’s right and privileges as members of the larger society. The diversity has contributed to the continued struggle. There is need for women issues to be addressed in the Global arena on one focus which is Womanism and neither regional nor domestic, for women issues are universal. Both equity and equality is necessary for women growth in addressing climate change issues. 

Both international laws and domestic laws have universalize issues and that both gender are subjected to law in the same way while the male gender has jogged ahead on leadership; for a sustainable future women must be included in decision making and their issues must be addressed globally. Policy makers must buy the culture and political will of including women in policy formation and implementation in order to attain a sustainable and green economy.


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