On the economic role of women in society – Liberation

Trading for the living: forum

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Economics has long ignored women. An error that is just starting to be fixed. But facts are hard…

What world do we want to live in and how do we build it? Economics provides a number of answers to these questions. They produce a multitude of analyzes related to different currents. If the positivist approach is necessary to understand how things work, then this knowledge is necessarily part of a normative perspective in the service of the constitution of a good society. But what is a good society?

For a long time this was understood in accordance with the gender order of the patriarchy. Thus, economy is designed by men to serve a society run by men. Most of them regarded the sexual division of labor and the ensuing subjugation of women as an almost natural and apolitical fact. These essentialist postulates then rose to the rank of scientific axioms because no one, or almost no one, within the discipline disputed them. These sexist biases have led to the justification of inequalities between the sexes and sometimes the denial of the existence of discrimination.

Cognitive biases and prejudices

Economists have thus made little room for the non-market dimension of our societies and have focused their analysis on market exchange. Admittedly, once subject to regulation that guarantees its status as a public good, the market is an institution that promotes social conquest. Moreover, the emancipation of women requires their economic independence and thus their participation in the labor market. Unlike men, however, women’s activity is determined by the functioning of the family. However, economists have tacitly ignored the role of the family and the domestic work performed by women. They ignored the existence of male dominance in the organization of work.

Feminist critique has exposed the gendered cognitive biases and biases that economists are not immune to and that shape the questions they ask and the analytical frameworks they use to answer them. She emphasized the hypotheses based on a naturalization of male-female relations and the various blind spots of the economy. The Marxist feminists of the 1970s paved the way by associating the Marxist critique of capitalism with that of male domination. They pointed to the non-recognition of the domestic and family work performed by women. Without this reproductive work, productive work, the privileged object of Marxism’s analysis, could not exist.

Mr Gagnepain and Mrs Gagnemittes

The rift opened by these feminist economists will not be closed, to the point that feminist economics is today recognized as a full-fledged branch of the discipline that transcends all paradigms and that empirical economics, which focuses on measurement and evaluation, annoys.

Feminism strives for gender equality and denounces sexism as a system of women’s disqualification and defends women’s emancipation and rights. Far from being a categorical statement, it is an essential dimension of egalitarianism and should spark civil debate. If we really want gender equality, economics provides a theoretical and empirical basis for assessing how far we still have to go and building a feminist political economy.

On the scale of France, the metamorphosis of the patriarchal model has remained unfinished, turning Monsieur Gagnepain’s model into that of Madame Gagnemiettes, in which inequalities between the sexes are no longer reduced. The challenge then is to propose a connection between the social state, the market and civil society, carrier of emancipation and equality.

And also

In anticipation of the events organized by Agir pour le Vivant, which will be held in Paris in June on the theme of the city, and the meeting in Arles at the end of August on the theme of territories, the writing of Liberation, in conjunction with the editions Actes sud en Comuna provides its readers with forums, interviews and insights, as well as a selection of articles on the topic of biodiversity. Found here.

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