That women make up the majority of those living in poverty is an undisputed fact. At the same time, the number of women in the workforce in many countries in increasing. In an article about how the decade of women is upon us, the author highlights that various factors will contribute to a rise in women’s participation in the economy. She explains:
“In addition to the powerful worldwide consumer force that women represent today, factors such as urban migration, increased access to education, mobile technologies, micro-credit and low-market entry costs will create a global “she-conomy” where over one billion women will enter the workforce or start businesses by 2020. The study suggests:
- In the next 10 years, Gen Y women across race and ethnic lines will dominate the professional workforce, expanding their roles in upper management in professional services firms and in professions such as law and medicine.
- Women, especially those in emerging markets, will be the dominant force in the global market — taking on increased leadership responsibilities across business and education.
- On a global scale, 970 million women who have not previously participated in the mainstream economy will gain employment or start their own businesses.”
She goes on to say that women should create their own avenues of business, leadership, community and family and that conscious men will join women as they pursue this avenue. While redefining economic structures and creating new ones can be a productive means for bringing about equality between women and men, are the ideas mentioned in the article enough? While she mentions women’s capacity to show love and express emotion, is she not simply calling on the creation of more systems that perpetuate the status quo? The consumerism based model that characterizes our society has for decades been promoting this inequality by devaluting people’s true identity and their latent capacities. To continue to promote the “narrowly materialistic worldview underpinning much of modern economics” is to ignore that equality calls for more than simply creating space for women within an already ailing social order.