Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Women and the Economic Crises in the United States

Radhika Balakrishnan from Women's Global Leadedrship one of the presenters - with a handout on Human Rights and the Economy - 8 page hand out.

Crises - human rights - how do we use human rights - comes from master guidelines. Use obligations to protect - enormity of regulation change that caused it to happen - allowed for crises to happen - violation of state's obligation to protect. Minimum wage is horrible. Asset pricing went really up. Hold state responsible.

Disproportion affect on women, especially in the informal sector. Speaker does media research - immigration and economic recovery - puts out tools to deal with it,.Look at values - shared with state - interests of some parties, not investing in those that already face barriers. After 2000 women were making 77 % of what men were making. For black men - 67%, Black women 54%; Since collapse - haven't contd leadership - important to think of informal economy. Domestic workers, sex workers, peop0le paying lower wages, trying to get more work for less money. more wage violations. Fears of workers - will be deported.

Human Rights - there are very few legal protections communities of colour - have been in crises for quite awhile. has been a crises for quite some time - why is this? hi ratges of poverty, and unemployment - not enough jobs. politicians says that problem is that people don't want to work. Dec. 2009, 15.3 unemployed people, competing for 2.3 million jobs.

When in economic boom, still not enough jobs. Don't have direct job creation. Focus on intersections of race, class and gender.

Assumptions that race, class, and gender plays. Not enough employment - This is now a crises. Look at policies, and how do we evaluate. Obligatgion by the state right to work. Huge amounts of money go to the banks. kept 29 billion dollars in vaults of banks, 729 billion in bank now - we need to tell government we know that. Are they looking for jobs for women.

Fundamental assumption - how have jobs in sex agregagted data- women in service, child care - serious affect. Have been talking about living wage jobs. 2/3 women in sex work said they had otgher jobs, but they didn't pay enough. number 1 was waitress, or security officer job - long term issue. Economic policies - lack of bold leadership. So much disparity for so long - also lack of training. No long term investment. Opportunity statement - Agencies who are recipients of stimulation fund not required about gender and race. Where can we make biggest impact. Enormous amount went into TARP, no requirement for reporting - investment into communities, onerous reporting requirements, and don't really tell us what we need.

Sex aggregated data - Current policy -need a program that affects everyone. by helping everyone, will help those those at lower level. Why they didn't require data - no need to keep track of who benefits because supposed to help everyone. Yet in human rights law, there is a requirement about paying attention to those that are over represented in the disadvantaged. Can't find out who is benefiting. Most people think we need to simulate private sector to create jobs. Doesn't provide jobs in short term. Don't hire more staff immediately. Who gets the jobs?

Fundamental question - Background of situation. Disproportionate impact. Intersectionality. Background - Human Rights lens - Where jobs, and where Recovery Act going. Hold Govt accountable. Have signed on to the convention of Elimination of Racial Discrimination - ratified a convention. Have ratified it. When recovering money doesn't go to State - Getting food stamps, huge - we need to take back the economy. last supreme court decision - plutocracy. Now people getting angry about the deficit.

Activists doing their job - research at opportunities fund - people support human rights approach - split among policy makers - real concern - protect justice for example, but rights that state provide health care.

Recent economic crisis, seeds of crises have been sowed previous years. impact on people of colour, lack of transparency.

Public participation, transparency build into recovery plan. how do we build more robust safety nets?

How do we build more robust safety nets -destygmatize them. Welfare entitlement - reduced to 5 years. Way to measure success - how fast to reduce welfare rolls. Mayor Guiliana administration - food stamps, treating poeple poorly, Social security, everyone has access - not just the poor, stygmatize the poor. Have it there not only for the poor. Targeted programs vs universal progrqams. favour universal programs. Neoliberal - market left on its own doesn't work, Ideology - social safety nets - Assumption, be lazy for 5 years - not appreciating there are no jobs. Whole world wants us to recover so we can buy their stuff.

Safety net issue - talking about safety net - sense thqt state is in crisis - how you deal with the crisis - cut the saftey net. Question about extending employment support - We didn't have enough safety net even when times were good.

Impact on Y - impact on women's organizations who are providing services. Accessing Stimualtion money - those at community level. Support Women's Fund - Women didn't create the crises, but are the victims. Those from immigrant communities - The training that is provided - have to get the training in a field that you are already in.

Questions - how direct service providers affected. Where has the money gone. Role of women's funds. Jobs training fund - match where jobs are. Models of economy? build on greater justice, transparency, human rights records of countries.

Services have been cut - Organizations laying off staff. Urban Fund - money had to go out to existing programs. Green jobs - pathways out of poverty - most of money already distributed. are.org (green economy) applied research - www.arc.org/greenjobs

What model should we look for - new deal - under Roosevelt - but it did leave out women. Didn't assume private sector could create all the jobs. how we learn aboutg what worked.

Model - question what works - hard to answer, know what doesn't work. Try to evaluate government policy based on government agreements on human rights. Why did we agree to live in this system, when we know it doesn't work.

We have a hard time - speaking about our human rights record - history of partnering with horrible countries. Lack of women's voice in economic models -

Question about justice - where can we go as a society and using justice

public discourse - intereted in impact on women - but in mainstream - seeing higher levels of unemployment for men. Need to look at details, and who is poor. in terms of unemployment - male jobs were lost. need to look at informal sector - easier to take corporations to court. after loans crisis, law that says if a certain level of - law - take banks into receivership. Full employment act - require to take steps towards full employment - 2 to 4% unemployment.


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for liveblogging the panel! Hope you enjoyed the conversation (and the rest of CSW). Look forward to seeing you at a future NCRW event.www.ncrw.org