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Économie mondialisée et identités de genre

Fenneke Reysoo

Dilemmes des processus de mondialisation économique dans la mise en œuvre des politiques de développement durable et de l'égalité de genre

Global Economy and Gender Identities, a Round Table Debate

Fenneke Reysoo et Frans Schuurman

Texte intégral

1Objectives of the Round Table: We expect from the participants to the debate to give a short presentation of their organization and then their vision and comments on five statements that will be introduced by the chairman Frans Schuurman. The discussion on each statement will be preceded by a vote among the audience. After the presentation of the visions of the participants of the Round Table and mutual comments on each other’s visions, the audience will vote again in order to see if the discussions and various points of view had an influence on the initial opinions held.


Globalization issues and pitfalls

2What do we mean by globalization? There are various positions taken in the global debate. It is important to be aware of the various positions taken on globalization before entering the debate. Let me present a simplified taxonomy of globalists.

  • True globalists. They say that globalization is not the same as late modernity, it is an entirely new epoch.

  • Cyberspace globalists. They actually say the same, but they insist on the fact that cyberspace makes it a new epoch.

  • Non-globalists. They say that globalization is nothing new, there was an expansion of imperialism between 1870 and 1914 as it occurred since 1985. Nothing new, just an other expansion wave of capitalism and imperialism.

  • Marxist point of view: globalization is capitalism gone global

  • Post-globalists. Their opinion is that if we have ever seen a period of globalization it is over now. Because what we see now is neolocal tribalism and universalism is on the decline. Nation States fall apart and form new entities on the basis of non modern neo-tribal identities.

3There is another possible taxonomy in the globalization debate based on whether you think it is good or bad. We have the positivists who say that it is system-led. This is an important point of view. Because it means that it can not be stopped, that there is a system out there – either technology, capitalism or imperialism. They say there is no alternative, no use fighting it, just go with the flow. It is system-led.

4The anti-globalists say that it is bad and that it is agency-led. Which means that there are particular agents in the world system that can be hold responsible for the globalization process. Which is an entirely different point of view than when you say it is system-led. Because when you say that it is agency-led you can hold certain agents responsible for either the good or the bad things – in this case the bad things – of globalization.

5We have the reformists who say that we have to strive for a sort of global keynesianism to fight the bad things of globalization. It is essentially good, but there are some bad elements which have to be fought.

6The globalization debate is sustained by a continuous stream of indicators, causes and consequences which are interchangeably presented in the globalization debate. So what one author calls an indicator of globalization is a cause or a consequence for others. You have to constantly be aware of what kind of globalization these authors are talking about. Is it an indicator, a cause or a consequence.

7What we see in the literature on globalization is that it concerns cross-border capital flows, global spread of neoliberalism, global spread of the network society and global spread of capitalism and modernity, the end of the nation state, the growing role of transnational corporations, and the westernization/americanization of the world.

8When talking about the influence of globalization on gender you might have a simple scheme like that the network society is influencing gender relations, or that westernization has its impact on gender. Which is the simple kind of scheme. But it might be much more complicated, because the changes may be the consequences of something else.

9Finally I’d like to draw your attention to two sorts of tautologies, the first one is the actual logical definition of globalization, the value-laden definition of globalization. If you think of globalization as something bad, you choose a definition that is negative. You might conclude that globalization is casino-capitalism, which by definition is bad.

10Another possible tautology is the reasoning that globalization leads to inequality; inequality in itself is used by capitalism to expand its activities. Capitalism makes use of inequalities, it uses differences in wages to move from one country to the next. Globalization leads to inequality, but inequality induces globalization, looking frantically around the world for new investment opportunities.

11This exposition is to give background to the discussion on the first statement.

Statement 1

12The growing economic inequalities in the world and the increase of poverty are caused rather by national than by global factors.

13Vote: against: majority. In agreement: some.

14I would ask the reaction from Thais Corral and Bernard Kuiten.

15Thais Corral
I am from Brazil, for the last sixteen years I’ve been working in the field of gender, linking gender issues from global to local and from local to global. I came into the debate of globalization through WEDO (12 years ago). At the end of the 1980s with the rise of civil society, a group of women from different countries, that had been active in terms of politics and in terms of communities, thought that the opportunity opened up by the UN on the whole debate on the limits of growth, regarding the questions of the impact on social issues and on development, also on women and the environment was worthwhile. We then thought that the UN wanted to co-operate with civil society. Women went out to bring to the fore so-called women issues. (Rio conference, 1992)

16The perspective of sustainable development allowed for this integrated approach. We built a movement, it was a platform of action (women’s agenda 21), it was very helpful in having an action agenda which could integrate the various perspectives of the women’s movement. Since then I worked for two non profit organizations in Brazil, one that dealt with communication and the use of radio to actually have women voices and to empower women in having their own views about the issues – I am a journalist by training.

17Back to Brazil we tried to link the global conquests to the local levels in terms of capacity building and national policies. Since 1995 I have been involved in a forum of former heads of States (World Forum 2000). We want to start dialogues between actors to discuss issues that Frans just addressed. A group of women’s in the forum assures that the Forum integrates a gender perspective. It should take into account policy actions that could unify different sectors.

18My reaction to the statement: I read it several times to see what I feel. It is one of these simple things. My first reaction is that I don’t agree with it, but I don’t like it. It tries to blame the victims of the process. I heard so many times that the people who are the victims of the system, the poor, the women are responsible for not electing good governments and then for not having not good representatives. The political process always has a historical perspective and the situation is not so simple.

19My second reaction has different sides. If I think about Brazil I think the liberalization of the 1990s has a good impact. For years inequalities were caused by the continuity of the reign of oligarchies and subsidies, and this money was withdrawn from social investments. These oligarchies were never preoccupied with changing the unequal basis of society. In that sense the liberalization brought transparency to the ways in which national funds were spent on enhancing national oligarchies. But the crisis in Argentina is the opposite, because it used to have a strong middle class and then liberalization destroyed it.

20Bernard Kuiten
I work at the external relations division of the WTO. That division deals with the WTO and anyone who is outside (NGOs, individuals, parliamentarians, business people, universities etc.). I am formally the only person in WTO responsible for the relationship between WTO and NGOs. Ten years ago you could suffice with one person, right now it is not realistic any more.

21The WTO is an organization based on legal agreements between 144 member countries, the member countries have to implement the rules and if they don’t do so they have a problem. They have to follow them, developing countries may apply some more flexibility than developed countries. At the end the secretariat is the one who supports the members in their negotiating efforts, in their analysis, in their research, and the relationship with the outside world.

22My background: trade negotiator for the Dutch and for the European Commission. I joined WTO in 1999, three months before the Seattle ministerial conference. We have no expertise whatsoever on the link between trade and gender related questions. It is a subject that never occurred. The members of the WTO through the secretariat which I represent, have never brought this issue up. We do it in the environment area, so the country governments have to make it an important issue.

23As to the statement: it would be very easy for me to agree with it. It is a national problem, global issues have nothing to do with it. It is a combination of economic and political factors. Still I only agree with part of the statement. You can’t just say there are economic inequalities. You have to look at different group of countries. There have been enormous shifts over the years, whether poverty has increased or decreased. It would have been fairer to look at different regions in the world and particular situations. What do you mean by national factors: policy makers, the business society, geographical factors, or the weather?

24Frans Schuurman
The statement involves either it is corrupt governments or the national elite who are responsible for economic mismanagement. They are the last filter through which global factors are being pushed to reach the bottom of a certain country. That is the idea behind the proposition.

25I saw some people who voted green, in favour of the statement. Could I invite you to elaborate on your vote?

26Fenneke Reysoo
Globalization as such is an abstraction. I adhere to theories on agency and power relations. I think that globalization can only be perceived through a local perspective (national, regional or at community level). The national level is then a revelator, there the frame is set for social and industrial policies. The government has an important role to play in filtering global issues at the national level. Power relations between actors, the link between the global and the local, are observable where actors meet, be it during UN conferences, WTO negotiations, ministerial meetings or community assemblies.

27Bene Madunagu
National governments are inscribed in history of colonialism and slavery. National governments are imposed.

28Frans Schuurman
Where does the role of colonialism ends? Is colonialism responsible for corrupt governments? Don’t you think that this is historical determinism and that it takes away people’s agency?

29Shahra Razavi
Going back to the early 1980s – not to go back to the colonial times – indebted countries had to go to the IMF to ask for loans. Policy conditionalities were attached to the loans. They were forced to adapt policies they would not have adopted themselves. At that juncture governments should not be held accountable for everything that follows, because they were not solely responsible for what happened. There is a consensus that those policies have not been very successful as to the social issues, gender equality etc. nor have they been very successful economically. Now if the question is where the responsibility lies, in the particular context of indebted countries that had to take loans and follow certain policies by force – pretty much – the responsibility does not solely lie on national governments. The answer to that question doesn’t need to bring us back very far, just in the 1980s when these processes started.

30These countries did not get indebted only because of the corruption of their governments. The same happens nowadays. I don’t doubt that global issues filter through national settings. In a country with landed oligarchies liberalization of land will be very different than in a context where you have more equality. Of course, globalization always filters through national institutions, national histories, social forces. The statement is problematic because you can’t generalize. But at the same time, if inequalities are increasing in 3/4 of the countries of this world, including in those who have very good national institutions, welfare states, relatively equal class structures, there must be an explanation that is not only tied to national factors. There must also something happening that was not happening before, that is happening at a level beyond nation states. You may disagree with that. This calls for an international argument as well.

31Isabel Rauber
We are prisoners of concepts that hide the real world we are witnessing. In the poor countries when we talk of globalization we talk about robbing our countries and about the incapacitation of our opportunities; the break down of our productive systems – and when we talk about production we talk about life; economic structures. The destruction of the productive system leads to the destruction of countries and the existing systems. Globalization, the WTO, the IMF etc. are behind this. We can’t discuss this issue without mentioning them. The national-global dichotomy is false. The complicity of our national governments are implied.

32Frans Schuurman
I am going to ask you after this first round of discussion to vote again for this first proposition. Three people changed their minds, they agreed and now disagree.

Statement 2

33The global economy is based on dominant gender constructions in order to maximize benefits. In other words gender inequalities are beneficial to the global economy.

34Vote: Almost all people agree with the statement.

35Mascha Madörin
I am a specialist working with NGOs, among others with the Déclaration de Berne, for engendering international trade, engendering budgets in Basle and for churches and sport subventions. Last year I worked with a small NGO on Swiss Banking in the developing world, a lobby to block the accounts of Mobutu. I am also involved in the link between Swiss Banking and South Africa. A South African coalition has started questioning Swiss Banking cooperation during the apartheid regime.

36We are only a few women working on these issues in NGOs, the State and movements. We work on the foreign policy of Switzerland from a gender perspective. Last year we made a press conference on the 7th of March. We made a ten point programme for the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). Until now we have managed to get 1% of our demands integrated. So we have to continue working together. What we request is qualified people in the Swiss delegations and organizations abroad. We ask the government to report on how they take up gender issues in international organizations like WTO, IMF and so on. We ask that they qualify their own people and that they publish what is known on international trade from a gender perspective so that everybody knows it and that our parliamentarians and government is knowledgeable about it.

37The problem is that there are intellectual restrictions. People think that gender issues is something cultural or something social, but not an economic question. It is very hard to argue at the macro-economic level on gender issues.

38I must say that from a methodological perspective I have a problem with such a statement. As a short version for a political position I have no problem. I just want to say that it doesn’t convince me very much. I would accept to say global economy is based on dominant gender constructions, but in order to maximize benefits, I am not so sure that this is a simple causality or intention (in order to). In the meantime you would not have such a globalization and such a huge accumulation if there weren’t a gendered economy.

39The next sentence “in other words” is additional. Gender inequalities are beneficial to the global market elite, which is not the same. I would add an other sentence “therefore it is difficult to change the gender relations in favour of women”. I would like to argue a bit more.

40This morning when listening to the arguments from a gender perspective, we didn’t talk of theoretical perspectives. We don’t have a problem of under-research, we have a problem of a lack of theory. A political economy of male dominance, which is not the same as in the 19th century, should be elaborated. I think it has to do with accumulation (I did not hear that word this morning). We always talk about women and micro-credits, we never speak of accumulation and who controls accumulation. A big problem with microcredits is their link with the formal and globalized banking system. Is there a flow of accumulation to this system, how do you organize so that what women have achieved through micro-credits remains in their hands. This is the type of questions we have to ask. We don’t have an economic theory on dynamics of accumulation and gender, and dynamics of accumulation, globalization and care economy. Many issues have still to be elaborated in economic models and categories.

41I have made an analysis of the world market elite. I have looked at the speakers at the world economic forum in Davos. If you look at its composition you have 90% men, of which 90% are coming from the USA, Europe and some rare people from Japan. A very low percentage of those world leaders are from the southern continents and they are not women anyway, not from Switzerland, not from Europe, not from the USA. In Switzerland the work without supervision is done by Swiss men (30%). The other functions are carried out by women or people with foreign passports. So this is one point. I looked at the composition of the women’s world march and its participating organizations and organizers. There are 30% of women from northern countries and all the others from eastern and southern countries. You have two globalizations, the NGO are differently globalized than the world market elites. We have to distinguish and talk about these two forms of globalization.

42Frans Schuurman
It is good that you mentioned that we need new economic theories. Just to mention a figure, 25 to 30% of international trade takes place within the same multinational. Which means that the mother is trading with its own daughter, that it eludes and erodes standard economic theories to understand what is going on there. We are in entire need of new economic theories.

43Mascha Madörin
Coming back to the first discussion on international and national factors, we must look at the Swiss Banking system and what the foreign companies are doing with transfer pricing. If I see how much money we have for being democratic, and how much of this money should be in Africa, Asia, Latin America or eastern countries, then as a Swiss I don’t dare speak of corrupt elites in southern countries.

44Naoko Otobe
I work with the ILO, which is a rights based organization. The ILO has 183 international labour conventions regarding gender equality, freedom of association, collective bargaining, occupational health and safety, etc. The ILO promotes various labour standards at the international level. Within the UN system the ILO is rather unique, as it is tripartite and its decision makers are not only governments, but also employers’ and workers’ organizations. So these issues are debated in the tripartite structure. The ILO has four strategic objectives:
1) promotion of principles and rights at work, 2) promotion of employment, both for women and men, 3) social protection and social security systems, 4) promotion of social dialogue.

45Across the board the ILO is now trying to mainstream gender in all its activities, its own structure, as well as the staff. The ILO has a Decent Work agenda. Decent Work is work undertaken in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity. I have been working with the ILO for more than ten years now, especially to address the gender dimensions of the impact of macro-economic policies on labour and employment, including of Structural Adjustment Programmes in both Asian and African countries, and more recently, I have also been involved in research on the impact of the economic crisis in the Philippines and other Asian countries.

46I make a response to the statement. It is very interesting that the large majority voted “yes, we agree”. I wish that I could say I agree in a complete form, but my reaction is that I am not sure whether I can fully agree with the statement. It says that “it is based on dominant gender constructions”, but it is probably due to the social structures that exist in the interaction with economic forces, the social disadvantage of women or some other social groups tends to manifest also the economic sphere, as the market outcomes. Gender construction is more of an influencing factor on the outcome of the market systems. It is not the same as to say that “it is based on a gender construction” per se. Especially, as Mascha said, the statement says “in order to maximize benefits, current economic systems really try to “exploit women” or some other groups. Furthermore, it is not only women who are at disadvantage; it could be others groups, minority groups, or young people. The market works with the demand and supply mechanism and that is really gender blind, or socially blind. What we are looking for here, as a counter-measure of laissez-faire market forces, is to moderate the market processes, and of course, one of the measures we can implement at the national level is certainly to promote equal rights. If employers and workers are more aware of equal rights, and if that can be translated into better employment opportunities and improved working conditions equally for women and men, of course, all parties will win, and the wages will be more gender-equal. This might be utopia, but to me it seems exaggerated to say “in order to maximize benefits” as such. Although it is true that women are disadvantaged because of their lower levels of education, illiteracy, skills, market access. And this is the reason why we need to implement various measures to promote equal rights, through a rights-based approach to development, which then could moderate the market processes.

47Frans Schuurman
Thank you very much. The audience is asked to react.

48Genoveva Tisheva
What does the very fact that the WB and WTO are not working with gender, the reality of existing stereotypes and already segregated labour mean. Agents of globalization don’t take gender into consideration, so what does it mean actually. It means that they condone what has already been achieved in some countries, or like in Bulgaria they agree to condone the regulation of labour standard s.

49Bernard Kuiten
Please don’t mix up WTO, IMF and WB. WTO is not confronted with gender related issues in the area of legal rules that we deal with. They are not brought up. People talk about general rules of how governments can behave in the international trade relations, they don’t come up with particular issues such as in WB or IMF projects. In a negotiation on service liberalization a country may say “we would like to keep this sector from any competition of the outside, because of a gender argument”. That is fairly possible. But you will not find that reference in any of the legally binding documents of WTO. This is an example of a gender motivation position in trade negotiation, but it is very difficult to find a theoretical argument to bring together a gender argument into the legal context of the WTO. This is the debate we have with several NGOs. If you come up with a specific theoretical framework for us or for the governments there may be a leeway, but so far these legal frameworks do not exist. Thanks.

50Ewa Charkiewicz
I want to say something about the differences between WB, IMF and WTO. They have signed coherence agreements in Marrakech when WTO was formally established. The developing countries, especially in their strategies of poverty reduction, work with an integrated framework, which put the trade liberalization as the key factor in reducing poverty. There is a new form of colonialism which comes from these coherence agreements and from integrated frameworks and emphasizing differences that do not do justice to realities. The indebted countries have very little room to maneuver. The other thing is the statement itself, and the dominant gender constructions. We have spoken a lot of women in this conference but we very rarely mention men. Masculinities have also been restructured by globalization. On the one hand, we have the Davos man and on the other the El-Qaida man. The agency that is expressed by El-Qaida man is close to masculinity construction experiences by men who lost a job, who have to take feminized jobs which are underpaid, by men in Russia who do not reach their retirement age, and by men who experience loss of a sense of identity. There is a huge social cost of globalization to men and to the restructuring of masculinities, but there is also the emergence of new dominant masculinities, such as the Davos man construction. Masculine agency in the context of globalization tries to maximize profits and to speed up the whole process of production and consumption when the costs of social reproduction, or social and ecological cost of globalization, are to women. When they are and not shared, when gender relations remain hierarchical, we can not talk about partnerships new dominant masculinities as partnerships, be they El-Qaida or the Davos man. We need partnerships to improve the position of women, and gender relations so that they can become partnerships.

51Vote: One or two people changed from green to red.

Statement 3

52Open markets and free trade while appearing to offer opportunities to some women, actually marginalize people from decisions that impact on their lives.

53Vote: The entire audience is in favour.

54Jean François Giovannini
Until July 2001 I was the vice-director of the Swiss Development Cooperation. I have participated in international politics. I was member of the Swiss delegations at the international UN conferences in Rio, Cairo and Copenhagen. We have always tried to integrate the proposals put to the fore by feminist organizations. On a systematic basis we have been working with organizations that deal with gender issues. SDC has been taking along gender issues for more than 20 years now. Our policies develop in line with international policy making on these issues. Initially we only addressed women issues, later we have been involved in making more thorough gender analyses. Our gender desk is excellent. The implementation, however, meets obstacles. First of all, we have a problem of expertise and human resources. Every one agrees on the principle, but reality is more complex. Furthermore, we are confronted with resistances in the countries we work with. The results are still mitigated.

55In terms of globalization I would like to make a general remark. It is very difficult to use general language for such a complex reality. I agree more or less with what is being said here. But we need to go more in detail. I think we don’t have too much of a choice, globalization is a fact. There are very few countries that really have an option in the matter. Some countries are outside globalization, some countries have made a choice or the choice was imposed on them (Iraq, North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar, Afghanistan). Only very big countries, such as the USA or China, do have the possibility to limit their integration in the global system. The USA could quit the global system. Their foreign trade does not represent a big part of their GNP, they are dependent on the outside just for petrol. For a small country like Switzerland, it is simply not a choice. We can’t survive on our own.

56Rather than saying in favour or against globalization, what interests us is the question of how we can best profit from it. How can we create a social system for those who are most marginalized? There have been a lot of promises made, how can we help the poorest countries, the EU has decided to open its borders to less well off countries.

57In Doha, we heard many complaints from certain countries, there were suggestions to improve the situation. In the last few years we have seen the contrary. Liberalization has been promoted, but there has been a lot of resistance to it at the same time in the northern countries, which have opened their borders less than the southern countries. Switzerland needs to be more conscious in its efforts, but I’m not sure that it can do it. The political reality is that NGOs are crying out for a more equal system, and at the same time there are important economic interests and political power involved; this leads to contradictions. The Swiss agriculture for example is not ready to open its borders to the outside.

58It is the responsibility of organizations such as the SDC, and of people like my self, to reinforce women’s ability to dialogue, to support feminist organizations and civil society organizations and to elaborate political systems that are more democratic. ILO has set international labour standards, we need to support the fight against child labour, the violation of social standards, we need to support environmental and economic co-operation on an international level. This could have a positive effect on other countries and on marginalized groups, including women. We can guide these changes in a positive manner at national level.

59Bernard Kuiten
I find it hard to see how open markets or free trade marginalize people from decision making. I would re verse the argument: to what extent are people marginalized or not involved in decision making on trade liberalization. That is a fair question, and that goes for northern countries and southern countries. A problem is that open markets and trade liberalization have always been taken for granted, for 40 or 50 years certainly under the GATT. More recently has there been a stronger debate on whether pure free market neo-liberalism is the best way to approach economic progress, sustainable development etc. The next question would be to what extent are people involved in decision-making by governments when it comes to defining trade policy. Then you come to discussing democracy. At the level of the WTO we have not much of a choice then to accept the situation as it stands, the positions taken by the members. Their negotiations when they are together follow a democratic process. It is probably not the case in every individual country, and there are elites who have dominant positions. WTO has to start with the idea that governments are the outcome of democratic processes. I disagree with the statement as it stands right now. I would re verse it to: when are people involved in decision-making when it comes to trade liberalization, trade policy and eventually the way the negotiations are being conducted within WTO?

60Thais Corral
These big organizations (WTO, etc.) have a very ambivalent position. They have a lot of influence on what countries do. Failures are the responsibility of the nation states. They have the tools to push for their main concerns. I think this is ambiguous and controversial. The WB for years has implemented projects for which they organized public hearings. These assessments were completely vague, real problems were avoided. It was just a matter to go through a bureaucratic process. It was not until recently, when much more people – women and men – and communities are organized to be able to be vocal and to understand the processes that they could have more influence, and now it is not done. There is a responsibility to involve people into the decision-making processes. This implies commitment. The big organizations have their responsibilities in this, because in many countries there is not a strong civil society, so the big organization should be aware of the pitfalls of the process.

61Furthermore, among the 144 WTO members, only 12 representatives are women. This is not acceptable anymore in a world organization, after all the international conferences where we have been asking for gender equality. If countries don’t send them, you have to push them as you push for other things.

62Christine Verschuur
I doubt the democratic functioning of WTO, because there is a lack of women present at these negotiations.

63Second, we need to examine what kind of globalization we need. Unesco goes for globalization with a human face. We need rules in order to “control” globalization. Opening up the markets is good for the south but not for the north. Everybody is equal, but some are some equal than others. The rules of globalization should apply for everybody.

64Third, many themes are not mentioned. Economic theory is very limited. Feminist economists have made interesting contribution (care economy, social reproduction). The States are not any longer taking up these issues. Personally I am interested in the progress of these issues.

65Silvia de Zordo
At local level, women have opportunities, they are more mobile, leave their villages and discover new horizons. A research was conducted on immigrant women in Italy, coming from Eastern Europe or from Latin America. They were young, left everything behind, it was a choice they made. Their choice was rather forced, they had no alternative. They abandoned family and children, this resulted in problems. What did these women do? The work of social reproduction and the state did not provide social services. The women have no rights, they are foreign, they are confronted to violence. What sort of opportunities are we talking about here?

66Vote: Nobody changed their minds.

67Frans Schuurman
Let now step over to practice. What is to be done?

Statement 4

68With today’s form of globalization there is no role any more for international development co-operation.

69Vote: The majority disagrees with the statement.

70Jean François Giovannini
As a representative of a development co-operation agency, I have always thought that development co-operation, especially bilateral co-operation, went the wrong direction. It is not a good system. First we should realize an equitable international trade system allowing every one to honestly earn a livelihood. Markets should be really open and subsidies to the agricultural sector abolished. And besides that we need a UN system for particular activities, such as Unesco for training activities. Unfortunately, the political reality is that bilateral co-operation gets substantive political support in the North, although this is not the case anymore in the USA. It is much more difficult to get political support for compromises in the field of international trade.

71NGOs have to show the contradictions between what is and what should be and raise public awareness on the problem of a system where all countries can take advantage of the global system.

72Mascha Madörin
I agree with what is being said. We have to distinguish between local development projects and general economic policies at the international level. With respect to development projects which are a sort of empowerment work or social work. I think that as long as people are poor and so many are poor, I am not economically able to organize their living. It is different from making a barbaric economic policy. The word international development co-operation is false, it is international development aid. We have to come to a new international policy.

73Frans Schuurman
International development co-operation was either bilateral or directed at civil society. In the first instance, one of the essences of globalization is the end of the Nation State. National governments have less and less power to decide on what happens on their own territory. So it would be unwise and inefficient to take them as partners in development co-operation. To come up with projects for civil society gets the character of emergency aid, than of a structural way to helping people forward. What can be the role of international co-operation?

74Bene Madunagu

75I want to say that it is not only the present form of globalization that should be the basis of international development co-operation. But that there should be co-operation between governments based on transparency, democracy and with people wellbeing as defined by and understood by people. It doesn’t have to take the form that it has today.

76Wendy Harcourt
I think behind the statement is the fear that many individuals and organizations which know what the problems are: poverty, gender inequality, … They realize that they are powerless now to do anything about it. The UN system and the way it is set up, the UN agencies are no longer the actors in the international system. WTO, IMF, WB and the hidden powers are the agents now. International co-operation was set up 40 years ago in a completely different world. In today’s world, which institutions are going to bring what we all want: equality, social justice, … not only between nations but also within nations. Is it really going to work the way it is set up now? On top of that the financing for development costs a lot but we don’t have the frameworks to get that money forward. It is clear that the real people who make the decisions are powerless also. The system doesn’t work anymore, there are people who dedicated their whole lives to do it, we need to work with it. This is the hard question for me, I don’t have the answer. Is Porto Alegre the answer? I don’t think so, but that is what we have to debate. Most of all we keep away from gender in all this. Is Porto Alegre going to put forward gender equality? There is the Davos man, but a lot of the same people from an other political viewpoint ignore gender as well in the Porto Alegre camp.

77Thais Corral
I want to build on what Wendy just said. We keep repeating a lot. What is the effectiveness of all the co-operation that has been going on? Much money is being swallowed in intermediary levels and did not come to the peoples in need.

78Porto Alegre is an expression of civil society, with contradictory aims. Gender should be a transversal theme this year. It gives a measure of how mondialization (not globalization) has worked out. A lot of networking is going to happen. People who are coming should debate and not only put forward one perspective.

79Mascha Madörin
I am working in international networks and international economic politics. If I look at Attac, if I look at the movements that have come up I have a total
déjà vu experience. It is like in the 1970s as to theoretical perspectives. It represents how men imagine feminists imagine things. Even in the anti-globalist movement it is the same. Theoretically we know much more than has been expressed until now. We reinvent the wheel every time, we discuss like in the 1970s and I am really fed up to do so.

80Bernard Kuiten
WTO has no project thus no donor money going into that. In the recent 3 years, and certainly now after Doha a lot of money has gone into technical assistance and capacity building. Mainly on the request of developing countries, it comes from development ministries of the developed countries who generally are the suspects. There is a focus of these ministries to put money in WTO. Whether this is good or bad is not relevant here, if WTO is considered a bad thing, we then have to wonder what is going on with development co-operation. It is still minority money, compared to the overall budget.

81Naoke Otobe
The ILO is now trying to promote its Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (Fundamental right conventions include those on gender equality, elimination of child labour, collective bargaining, freedom of association and forced labour). The Social Summit put to the fore these conventions as fundamental, and it was not the ILO forum which decided they were fundamental. The International-Focused Programme on Declaration is putting money in the promotion of the principles of the Conventions through technical co-operation projects and programmes, in the areas of gender equality, forced labour and social dialogue. The ILO also has an International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour. The ILO implements projects through a rights-based approach, and we have to promote rights in the context of development. For example, the ILO aims at a better implementation of these fundamental principles and rights through projects implemented in Export Processing Zones (industrial areas). It is yet to be seen, however, what impact these projects will have on workers.
I disagree with the statement. We can continue to take action to promote gender equality in the world of work, through a rights-based approach to development.

82Frans Schuurman
The existence of undemocratic regimes would be favourable for development aid. After the change of regimes in Argentina and Chile they cut off development aid from Europe. The lack of democracy is a
raison d’être for development co-operation.

83Vote: one person changed her opinion.

Statement 5

84Gender equality and sustainable development should no longer be limited to the field of gender and development co-operation but extended to international financial institutions and international political relations (WB, IMF, WTO).

85Votes: everybody agrees.

86Mascha Madörin
In Switzerland we had a big campaign when Switzerland joined the IMF and the WB. We had a successful campaign around the enforcement of development law to WB and IMF. Yes, OK we report on the politics of the WB but not of the IMF. They think that gender is a question of social relationships and local questions. It is not a question of macro-economic policy. It is generally believed that finance and banking have nothing to do with gender. We have to work on this. This level of theory is little developed. We have to engender universities, especially the teaching of economics in Swiss universities.

87Frans Schuurman
There is a huge gap between development practitioners and universities.

88Leading social scientists are co-opted by international organizations (There are many social scientists now working within the WB on social capital).

89Mascha Madörin
There is another gap between development co-operation and foreign policy in Switzerland, and also between economists and social scientists. Development economy is not considered economy. Feminist economy is a top sport, only 10 per cent of economists are involved. Too few economists take it seriously, let alone integrate it in their work. These separations are terrible.

90Jean François Giovannini
I would like to introduce the image of corrida. International organizations are a little bit like the red flag used to cheat the bull. The real decision-makers are not the international organizations, but the governments. And some governments have more power in these organizations than others. It is convenient for them to put the blame on the World Bank or the IMF. The real responsible people are within the US congress. That’s the locus for resistance to change and that is why the lobby for change should concentrate on the US congress. If the US congress took stronger positions, the international organizations would easily change. We should not continue to blame these institutions because they do not exist on their own. We have to look at where the real power lies, and this is in Washington, in the US congress, but not in the World Bank.

91Bernard Kuiten
It is not happening. No gender debate comes into the WTO. due to a lack of theories. We are a legal institution. How can you feed into the legal rules of the WTO a reflection of certain gender aspects? The same goes for the human rights debate. Trade and human rights is an issue that came up two years ago through NGOs. How do you see human rights reflected in legally binding rules of WTO? Like the preamble, yes we can write we should take into account sustainable development or human rights, that doesn’t bind anyone. Is it feasible to include it into the rules. We are not equipped to do so, we have no experience. The Doha looked for the first time at trade and environment. It took 7 years to negociate the agreements. Greenpeace changed their strategy from being totally opposed to attracting attention from governments, they focused on substance. Many developing countries oppose it, they don’t want environmental questions, because they can’t live up to international standards. These are long processes, you have to link the theory to legal processes when it comes to WTO.

92Frans Schuurman
I doubt if it is a matter of theory or of political will.

93Silvia Federici
I have heard the argument so many times that the inequitable situation and trade relations are there because the south wants it: “We can not abolish child labour, because it is a real need of countries (India, Pakistan)”. The IMF is bending to these needs. This is not an appropriate argument.

94What is the process? How does a country decide not to abolish child labour. Why do they depend on that? We have to study that. There are responsible people and organizations. They use to say that their hands are tied. It is trap.

95Chrystel Ferret
There are a lot of frameworks from feminists economists. But these tools are not used. It is a matter of political will. Gender budget was considered rubbish within Swiss Development Co-operation, but it is due to ignorance. A lot has to be done at national level. As citizens we can do it. At the international level we also have to lobby. There are frameworks for gender budgets. We have to lobby our male colleagues. It has to be mainstreamed in the institutions. If the states don’t make an effort WTO will not change, it is a political issue.

96Fenneke Reysoo
Let me say a few words to close the debate. A red threat that runs through our discussions of the five statements is that the issue of global economy and its impact on social development and gender is very huge. At several points in time, we were urged to specify about which processes we were talking. Was it about indicators, causes or consequences? Furthermore, there was an appeal to take into account historical, political and cultural contexts when analysing the impact of open markets and free trade on the position and status of underprivileged groups. The growth dilemma popped up at several moments. Although we have not questioned the idea of (a certain) economic growth, on the field we observe various negative consequences of national and international market forces which are blind to social and gender issues. The participants of the round table have warmheartedly shared their points of view and the varying visions have led to interesting exchanges. We sincerely hope that the debate has contributed to sharpen your own ideas. We wish you good continuation in your work and research and thank you for your participation.


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