Title

Globalization, women's labor force status, and empowerment: A cross-national study

Date of Completion

January 2007

Keywords

Sociology, Social Structure and Development

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

Globalization has brought about striking changes in the gendered labor market and has reconfigured gender relations in various institutions. While there is a growing consensus that globalization of a nation's economy strongly affects the creation of a heavily feminized workforce, scholars have contested the nature of the global employment pattern and its impact on women's empowerment in economic and non-economic spheres. One perspective stresses that women constitute a segregated workforce and are treated as a cheap source of labor in the global economy. Another perspective suggests that changes in the global labor market have narrowed gender wage gaps, created new jobs, and have made significant contributions to women's position in a variety of areas. Drawing on several theoretical perspectives related to gender, development and globalization, this study examines the relationship between globalization and women's status in the labor market and how both globalization and labor force status affect women's political and familial empowerment. The findings of the study suggest that global economic integration enhances women's status in the labor market. The findings also suggest that any such changes in women's opportunities in the labor market and empowerment in social and political spheres are further mediated by other macro structural policies that often accompany the processes of globalization. ^