Much has been written about the negative impact of globalisation on the world’s poor, and especially on women producers and workers. Trade liberalisation does not automatically result in a reduction in poverty.
But this book attempts to demonstrate how women on low incomes can benefit from globalisation, particularly trade liberalisation, if opportunities are made available to them.
Edited by Marilyn Carr, it explores practical examples from Commonwealth countries of how governments have supported, or could support, economic and export efforts of women producers and workers in the informal sector. It also looks at the complementary roles that other institutions -- such as membership associations, local and international non-governmental organisations, private corporations, consumer associations and fair trade organisations –- can play in this process.
The focus is on positive experiences of women producers and workers in the informal economy who, in many parts of the world, comprise the majority of the economically active population and who could contribute much more to output and export growth.
This volume contains six case studies of women employed in Bangladesh, India, Ghana, Mozambique, Samoaand South Africa. They include independent women producers and smallholders; employees of small factories; and wage workers in large enterprises.
Ms Carr notes that the case studies "show how different strategies, including fair trade, ethical trade and codes of conduct, business development services and social entrepreneurship, have been used in different circumstances to enable women to link with global markets on favourable terms."
One study –- based on the Virgin Coconut Oil Co-operatives in Samoa–- describes how a local NGO, Women in Business Development Incorporated, introduced improved technology to 13 co-operatives, enabling them to produce organic virgin coconut oil for export markets. Women manage all but three of the co-operatives and women’s general status has increased as they are seen as bringing income to their communities.
Another case study looks at women smallholders and factory workers who are involved in efforts to regenerate Mozambique’s cashew nut production, processing and export industry.
The book was an initiative of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Social Transformation Programmes Division and Economic Affairs Division. It will serve as a source of inspiration especially to government policy-makers and development practitioners throughout the Commonwealth.
Published by the Commonwealth Secretariat
ISBN: 0-85092-798-6; 220 pages; price: £11.99
HOW TO ORDER
This title can be bought online at http://www.publications.thecommonwealth.org/.
A full catalogue of Commonwealth Secretariat publications can be viewed on the website, which provides a secure online buying facility, and orders can also be made through e-mail or by post. Pre-payment is essential. Payment by sterling cheque, international money order, postal order or bank draft must accompany your order.
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