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Women's rights and gender equality

Glossary on Sustainable Development from a Gender Perspective

The “Glossary on Sustainable Development from a Gender Perspective” issued by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (ICFG) at the University of Bern contains, among other things, definitions from a gender perspective on the growth of financial transactions. Financial speculation on food products has led to a number of local and global food crises sacrificing the food security of millions. Women, due to their role guaranteeing their families’ food security, have been hit particularly hard by these crises. Calls to re-regulate the financial markets are widespread be it through banning certain types of speculation or through financial transaction taxes which could be used to finance public expenditures.

However, women continue to be under-represented in economic decision making and therefore such issues that affect women are not sufficiently addressed. The glossary on Economic Policy explains how the focus on ideal market conditions rather than on human outcomes (stability and employment) has led to a change in the functional distribution of income – the balance between returns to capital and returns to labor. The elimination of subsidies, trade liberalization, privatization of state enterprises and deregulation have in particular resulted in down-side costs to the populations in developing countries. The removal of agricultural subsidies has hurt many small-scale farmers, particularly women who find themselves unable to extend many of their concerns into the policy agenda.

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