Intervention by Mina Xyrotiri, MP Synaspismos - Greece at the Euromediteranian Forum, Malte

Σάββατο, 03 Μάρτιος 2001 02:00
Τhe first question we must answer is whether the way globalisation is currently promoted helps to enhance the implementation, in practice, of equality of genders. Unfortunately, globalisation of capital and commerce is not accompanied by the globalisation of rights . The more a country’s economy is connected with the international market, the less money is invested in the state provisions and the social sector, which is an integral part of equality. The above constitute the UNO estimation during the “Beijing+5” process which evaluated the course of the application of the resolutions of the 4th International UN Summit for Women in Beijing (1995). The curtailment of social sector expenditure has an impact on the infrastructure for the care and educating of children, for the care of senior citizens as well as on family allowances and employees’ leave. Privatisation, which is promoted without any criteria, in sectors crucial for the gender, like health, education and social security, obstructs real equality. The deregulation of labour relations and of the labour market upsets the life of households, introduces insecurity to a couple’s life. The working peoples’ income and benefits were based on the pattern of steady, dependent labour of indefinite time. The introduction of part-time employment and other flexible time forms of employment which tend to become the norm, undermine the basis on which the whole structure of employees renumeration was built. So, we can see here a tragic contradiction: on the one hand there is increased awareness of women’s human rights – and that is positive, but on the other hand there is an aggravation of the socio-economic conditions for the realization of equality and the implementation of women’s rights. The worldwide liberation of markets has brought to the fore the market ideology, which has become synonym of unbridled competition and the slogan “who is able to survive, will”. We do not think that this economic model has any relation to the equality of the genders. The environment that is friendly to equality has to do with social solidarity and political control of the phenomenon of “market fundamentalism”; it has to do with the deepening of democracy, which continues to have a gender deficiency, that is that women are not sufficiently represented at the decision making centers. In other words, what we need is governance of globalisation on terms of human and citizens’ rights. And we as women, as a social gender, must choose the field of rights because equality is a fundamental human right. There are two issues that we need to concentrate on which also depict the character of the currently promoted globalisation. Firstly, the feminisation of poverty, which constitutes a special part of poverty in general. It is tragic that worldwide poverty (five years after the very important UN Copenhagen Summit on social development) increased instead of decreasing. On the other hand, poverty among women represents 70% of worldwide poverty –the same as five years ago. Women are poorer as regards the satisfaction of their basic needs and the enjoyment of wealth but also in regard with opportunity and options. The social gender itself, as a carrier of discrimination, becomes a poverty factor. Therefore, womens’access to education, specialisation and employment on an equal basis is an indispensable pre-condition in our struggle against poverty. This means that we need policies targeted specifically to this goal that the globalised market will not promote if left on its own. The second issue we need to focus on is violence against women and trafficking of women. Trafficking of women has expanded at a tremendous rate precisely because of globalisation (liberation of markets, internet, international crime organisations). It is a well organised international crime center. It is obvious that we need to adjust the law instruments available, both national and international as well as expand and enhance international co-operation. First of all, though, our efforts need to focus on the elimination of poverty and unemployment as well as of gender discrimination, which constitute an important cause that pushes women in the nets of enforced prostitution and trafficking in the countries of origin. We have to work for a democratic and just world order which does not exist today. Therefore, let us globalise the struggles for equality and dignity of our gender. Let us globalise equality..