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Yläkuva:  Kaarina Kailo Kaarina Kailo - kuvassa

New European Left Forumin naisteemaryhmä, jota Kaarina Kailo veti v. 2008, laati seuraavan julkilausuman: NELF

 

Gender Aspects of Social Exclusion and EU Economic Politics

The NELF Women’s Network is concerned about the lack of attention, sensitivity and action regarding the gender impact of the Lisbon strategy (2000) and of the so-called Reformed EU treaty (2007) which promotes EU’s economic dimension above citizen’s social rights.

The NELF Women’s Network wants to draw attention to the fact that the core EU catechisms of “competitiveness, cost-efficiency, productivity and economic growth“ represent a multinational corporate agenda to the detriment of women. The EU dogma affects the rights and lives of many disadvantaged groups.

The EU must be made to realize that the challenges of health care/care work and social services constitute the most crucial issues across Europe today, both in terms of gender and economic politics. They have an impact on men’s and women’s lives in an asymmetrical way with ethnicity, age, citizenship and other social factors as additional factors of social exclusion.

The invisibility of women’s reproductive work together with the gendered views of the proper role of men and women in society have resulted in the traditional undercounting of women’s economic activities, manifest in GNP and other gender-blind indicators.

EU needs to act more strongly against the unequal distribution of the burden of adjustment between men and women under globalisation, and challenge the gender neutrality implicit in the economic policy models themselves. Women form the majority of employees in public sector jobs in EU member states. Hence the structural changes aimed at weakening or downsizing the public services and redirecting public tax money towards corporations benefits EU’s male-dominated fields at the expense of women’s traditional employment rights and decent working conditions. Corporations work to make profits, not to guarantee access of all citizens to social services. Because of traditional gender relations and reproductive labor, women more than men need and use public services, and are employed by it.

We need to develop indicators of the well-being of people and nature, with particular concern for the lives of those most in need. Feminist holistic care-oriented economics condense the need to assess and design social policies and planning from the point of view of the most vulnerable people, based on the circulation rather than unsustainable accumulation of forced, appropriated services, and to ground them in higher levels of local self-determination, democracy and subsistence.

The erosion of women’s social rights impacts negatively on their families and thus on all society. The backlash against women’s social rights captures the more general politics of social exclusion. Women’s welfare is everyone’s welfare.



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