Gender, law and justice in a global market by Ann Stewart

By Ann Stewart

Theories of gender justice within the twenty-first century needs to have interaction with international financial and social procedures. utilizing ideas from financial research linked to worldwide commodity chains and feminist ethics of care, Ann Stewart considers the best way 'gender contracts' with regards to paintings and care give a contribution to gender inequalities all over the world. She explores how economies within the international north stimulate wants and create deficits in care and belonging that are met via transnational routine and lines the way transnational monetary approaches, discourses of rights and care create relationships among worldwide south and north. African girls produce fruit and plant life for ecu intake; physique staff migrate to fulfill deficits in 'affect' via provision of care and intercourse; British-Asian households search belonging via transnational marriages.

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Can this shift in location of care to the market be seen as a potential gender-based success story? It could be argued that women’s position in society will be greatly enhanced by the economic recognition of the attributes or skills ‘naturally’ associated with them and that they will be able to ‘capitalise’ on, and organise around, these in the market place. However, what effect does an affective market have on working relationships? Some would distinguish between immaterial labour used to provide an 20 Constructing relationships in a global economy (immaterial) service and material labour, used for (material) goods.

There has been until recently little public debate and attention to how such needs are to be met if women’s improved life chances are linked primarily with their involvement in paid employment (Fraser 1997: chapter 2). ‘Traditional’ gender contracts are under pressure across the globe but the terms and conditions for their replacements are contested. If the assumption is that all workers are the same then are all carers also the same? In other words, is the sought-after model one of all individuals combining work and care with lesser or greater degrees of support from their state or is it that care is sufficiently valued and recognised socially to merit parity with work (Fraser 1997: chapter 2)?

Needs become associated with the ‘needy’, not with everyone, and then ‘[t]he majority, the powerful, or the expert, often substitute their own accounts of needs for the voices and views of those who are affected’ (White and Tronto 2004: 440). Meeting needs becomes a political issue contested through the language of inequality (Fraser 1989: chapter 7). In northern welfare states, state provision has become associated with unsustainable ‘welfare dependency’, which is perceived to be degrading, thus constructing individual recipients as lesser citizens, as failed consumers.

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