The spread of global capitalism impacts poor women
Global Capitalism And It’s Impact On Poor Women.
The spread of global capitalism impacts poor women hardest, whether in the Third World nations many women are forced to leave or the First World nations where many have always lived in poverty or where they are compelled to migrate once the means of survival in their home countries are destroyed. Under globalization, the destruction wrought by neoliberal policies in both First and Third world nations cause women to lose ground in status, freedom, safety, education and to have diminished access to basic needs of food, water, housing and health care.
Structural adjustment policies are pre-conditions set by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for loans to indebted countries, including provisions that indebted governments cooperate in cutting spending on social programs, slashing wages and eliminating labor controls, devaluing local currency, privatizing state enterprises, opening up markets to foreign investment, liberalizing imports and expanding exports.
Consistently, poor women of color from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia report.
the devastating effects of these policies:
Increasing poverty and rapidly deteriorating nutrition, health and labor conditions. When wages and food subsidies are cut, women & children’s nutrition suffers first. As public health care and education vanishes, women suffer from lack of prenatal care and girls are the first to be kept from school to help at home or go to work. When export-oriented agribusiness moves in, peasant families are evicted from their lands for corporate farms, and women become seasonal farmworkers instead of land-owning farmers. Lands once used to raise staples like rice are used instead for raising shrimp, oranges, orchids—all for export, not for local consumption–or for golf courses and luxury hotels for tourists. In short, SAPs lead to a destruction of both subsistence economies and social service systems in Third World nations so that women have few viable options to sustain their families but to leave them behind and migrate in search of work. Usually, women go from villages to cities within their home countries first, and then migrate to the First World for a job in service work, manufacturing and sex work.
Thus, poor immigrant women workers and workfare workers share many struggles under global capitalism, starting with the jobs they are typically relegated to in the service industry. These women perform much the same work under strikingly similar conditions: invisible, unsafe, unsanitary, hazardous, service work for low or no wages. But the way that their labor is seen—or, rather, unseen and unrecognized—binds them even more closely.
Work performed by poor immigrant women and workfare workers is neither viewed nor structured as contract labor, or even as a service they provide for which they should be compensated. Instead, their labor is constructed as charity, opportunity, privilege, community service, repayment of a debt to society, and/or as punishment for a crime. In the case of workfare workers, their “crimes” are being poor, homeless or “unemployed.” In the case of immigrants, they are criminalized for entering the country (presumed “illegally,” of course) and for consuming resources to which they are thought to have no rights. In both cases, employers invoke these constructions of immigrant and workfare workers as undeserving, non-citizen, punishable, criminals indebted to society in order to coerce these workers into exploitative work, to try to justify this exploitation and to counter organizing among these workers. In all cases, the prevailing public opinion is that these workers should feel lucky to have the “opportunity,” and they are certainly better off with it than without it.
By refusing to recognize the services performed by these laborers as work, by defining it instead as opportunity, privilege, charity, repayment and even punishment, employers deny these workers the prevailing wages, protections and rights afforded regular, “citizen” workers.
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