Summer School Engendering Economic Policy in a Globalizing World
Liberalization, Services and Care Economies
21st – 26th July 2003
hosted by the Technical University in Berlin/ Germany
Economic policies are no longer made within national contexts. Globalization implies that financial, monetary and trade policies are shaped and increasingly formulated in international institutions (International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation) with far-reaching consequences for regional and local governments and for civil society. The more marketised forms of globalization invoke new governance mechanisms that have differential impacts across the social spectrum, i.e., relative to class formation as well as gender relations. Partly at issue therefore is the degree to which the disciplines and competitive pressures of the new global market order tend to fragment human communities, increase social inequality and intensify human insecurities. Globalization has impacted upon gender relations in complex and contradictory ways and gender relations are fundamentally shaping the global political economy. Women are specifically affected by economic crisis, since the squeeze on public resources available for the provision of care, including unpaid care, but also care services provided through the public and private sectors, transmit gender bias. The liberalization of trade relations has also increased the “feminization of the labour force”, such that more jobs are precarious, informal and without social protection.
Women have been active in campaigning for global economic justice and gender equality. They have taken the initiative in exploring theoretically and empirically new ways of engendering macroeconomic and international trade policies, and have analysed the implications for specific macroeconomic policy questions within democratic governance frameworks. A large gap continues to exist between government commitments of the Beijing Platform of Action, which was ratified by 189 governments at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995, and the “silencing” of gender issues in the agendas of the WTO and IMF.
A good example of the new governance framework at the multilateral level is the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) negotiated presently within the World Trade Organisation (WTO). GATS involves the concept of progressive liberalisation of domestic regulations across a range of fields connected to the provision of services. GATS locks in commitments to deeper liberalization and the discipline of market forces in ways that involves domestic regulations, which would be binding on all future governments. Although women are specially affected by GATS as consumers, customers and providers of services, there is little information and research on gender impacts of the privatization and liberalization of services. Urgently needed are more analyses of the gender impact in different world regions and the development of gender strategies as input to the national and global negotiations of GATS.
The Summer School 2003 intends to debate the issue of GATS (services in education, health, social services, tourism, water) from a gender perspective. We want to foster the development of recommendations from a gender perspective and hope that these could be submitted to the negotiating bodies at the national governments as well as directly to the WTO.
Purpose and Program of the Summer School
The concept of the Summer School has been developed by an expert group of political economists, political scientists, and NGO activists. The aims are:
- the development of new gender approaches to macroeconomic policy making.
- to organize a network of researchers, politicians, NGO experts who are interested in an ongoing exchange and cooperation in the field of economic policies from a gender perspective.
- to develop new critical political strategies and impact assessments of the liberalization and privatization processes of services and public goods.
- to promote capacity building in different regions of the world on the issue of macroeconomic policies and gender.
The Summer School will take place as a yearly event with different thematic issues. In order to provide continuity, we encourage 1/3 of the participants of each Summer School to take part in the following years. Participants are expected to come from different regions of the world and from different political backgrounds and experiences.
The program consists of lecturers (some of them open to the public) and smaller workshops. The first part of the program will provide a general introduction in feminist and alternative economic policies and subsequently provide an overview of the governance structure of the WTO and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
In the second part of the Summer School, small working groups on the various services (health, education, tourism, water) will be organized with discussion leaders. The purpose of these work shops is to exchange information on privatization and liberalization of service industries in various regions of the world, present on-going research projects, and share information on successful political campaigns and interventions. The goal is to create a network on the various topics for future cooperation and information exchange.
The Summer School 2003 will take place at the Technical University of Berlin with about 50 participants.
Concept Group of the Summer School:
Brigitte Young and Hella Hoppe / University of Münster
Christa Wichterich/ NGO Women’s Forum ,
Gülay Caglay/University of Kassel,
Annekathrin Linck & Daniela Setton/ Heinrich Böll Foundation
The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a political foundation in Germany. The foremost task is political education in Germany and abroad with the aim of promoting informed democratic opinion, socio-political commitment and mutual understanding. In addition the Heinrich Böll Foundation supports artistic and cultural as well as scholarly projects, and cooperation in the development field. The political values of ecology, democracy, gender democracy, solidarity and non-violence are chief points of reference.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s most important areas of activity are its projects in developmental cooperation and international policy. The Foundation supports currently about 130 projects in 60 countries on four continents.
This year, the Foundation has started a new program on globalization and gender with the goal to engender economic policies. A special event of this programme will be the Summer School on Engendering Economic Policies (2003 –2005).
Participation Summer School
Interested participants for the Summer School will be selected according to geographic regions and some prior knowledge of trade/financial global issues. Conference language will be English. Please fill out the enclosed application form and mail it back by the 25th of April 2003 to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will receive the confirmation of your participation no later than June 1st, 2003.
No fees are charged. Travel costs, hotel, meals have to be covered by individual participants. However, there will be 20 fellowships granted for those who have special recommendations from our regional offices.
Contact: Heinrich Böll Foundation
Rosenthaler Str. 40/41
Tel.: 0049 – 30 – 28534-302 / Fax: 0049 – 30 – 28534-308 e-mail: email@example.com
Please send till 25th of April by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal Code / City
Research Fields/Action Fields in macroeconomics/globalisation
Own Experiences/political background – short description
Special interests/ Expectations /motivation to attend the School