"Gender in Trade Union Work" The Globalisation or Feminisation of Work
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Dr. Gisela Notz
The catch phrase globalisation is an invention of American management schools. It suggests that only the companies that promptly and ruthlessly adjust to the new global competition for markets and locations are able to survive (see Krätke 1997). Only those who become global players and extend their business activities world-wide, instead of limiting themselves to the protection of domestic markets, still seem to have the chance to survive today.
Globalisation is a new term for an old form of world economic policy. In contrast with the past, though, newly developed computer systems help to overcome spatial distances considerably. Approximately 60% of world trade is centrally planned and controlled in terms of prices by the "new colonial masters" (Goldsmith 1996 in Monde Diplomatique). This process of an internationalised market economy is called "globalisation of capital utilisation."
"The international markets are forcing us " has been drummed into our heads for years as if from a record player that skips; and it has recently been replaced by the phrase, "the location of Germany must be maintained." The influence of trade unions in society shall be undermined, and the competition between employers and employees, between the young and the old, natives and immigrants, those "holding" positions and the unemployed will grow immensely.
Horror reports reach our ears every day. News about pending layoffs, about business relocations, about company and business closures, about cuts in social programs, growing national deficits, a rise in the number of the unemployed, about lack of competitiveness on an international market, falling exports, natural disasters, a reduction in potential qualifications, about destroyed careers that can no longer be mended and injured human beings with wounds which can no longer be healed. Often the threat of relocating companies and company branches is enough to break the resistance of workers who are against deregulation and flexibility. Women are affected by globalisation in a special way. After all, they are still in the process of gaining access to paid employment on a world-wide basis. They are breaking free from a dependency that men have never known. Globalisation and the employment of women make new demands on the work of trade unions, which are only insufficiently prepared for it.
A Necessary Preliminary Remark
The gender-specific aspect is the topic of globalisation and a challenge for trade union labour policy. In the globalisation process, there are not the women, just as there are not the men. Women, just like men are not only victims they are also active participants. In the process of globalisation of the world economy there are also those who profit, those who lose, even victims, and there are clean-up squads in destroyed environments, as well as active participants who offer resistance.
Obviously, globalisation indeed affects women differently than men. Nevertheless, they are not affected as a group but again as individuals. In industrial countries, there are more women than men who belong to the group of marginal work-
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ers, and more men than women who belong to the group of core workers. Those who no longer take part at all in the process of seeking work are predominantly women as well. The fact that poverty is increasing on a world-wide basis shows that there is a connection between hunger on the one hand, and world market production on the other hand. And the fact that women are represented to a greater extent on the side of the starving 70% of the poor are women world-wide, shows their special affliction. The feminisation of poverty became a standard concept as early as the 1980s.
An analysis of the gender-specific effect of globalisation on the world community the gender aspect is therefore just as important as an examination of the economic, ecological and political effects.
In my article, I will first deal with the effects of globalisation on the work of women, as far as one can, since it has not yet been sufficiently researched, and then I will move on to the feminisation of employment and the feminisation of responsibility. Afterwards, I will point out possible perspectives for trade union work.
The New International Division of Labour
Large national companies are joining together more and more on an international basis. The relocation of production stages (outsourcing) that existed for a long time in small and mid-size business at home and abroad increased in the 1970s. The international division of labour became intensified when extreme labour-intensive stages of production in the clothing and electronic industries were moved from the industrial nations of the North to the countries of Southern Europe, North Africa, Eastern Asia and Latin America. At the same time, the labour costs and the incidental wage costs were gradually reduced in highly industrialised countries. It cost jobs for women. The reason is that labour-intensive production is predominantly carried out by women. Women work in the "cheap-wage countries" as the name already says cheaply. For employers, there are no incidental wage costs and no taxes to be paid. But women also work there more willingly because very few of them are organised in trade unions. It is well known that this weakens the opposing power of trade unions even here in Germany.
The newly industrialised countries of Southeast Asia owe their high rate of growth that is acclaimed as an economic miracle to the millions of women who are drawn into the suction of international manufacturing plants in a global rotation process and then spit out again. Especially young women are hired for dumping prices, and after a few years, after marriage or starting a family, are laid off. Alone in Southeast Asia the employment of women has climbed from 25% to 44% since 1970. In Bangladesh, 700,000 jobs were created in just under 20 years (Wichterich 1997a).
The surge of transnational corporations towards ever cheaper workers and ever larger profit margins has lead to a corporation mobility in the past few decades that is unprecedented in history. Since wages in the newly industrialised countries of Southeast Asia are increasing (also for women), European and American companies award their orders to their still cheaper competitors. Clothing manufactures in Hong Kong pass on their orders to subcontractors in Vietnam and China for example. Working conditions in the production plants and the service industries that were swiftly created are often extremely burdensome and discriminating. With almost no trade union organisation, the mobilisation of resistance proves to be difficult.
The new phase of the global division of labour reveals itself not only in the increasing tempo of production relocation and the ever greater fragmentation of individual stages of production. Transnational groups of affiliated companies no longer limit their activities to the production sector. They have moved on to the service industry sector. Hotel chains, banks and insurance companies operate across borders. Besides the liberalisation of the financial markets, the new areas of information technology and communication technology are door open-
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ers for new branches. As of recently, groups of affiliated companies offer advertising, market research, bookkeeping, management consultation, legal consultation, as well as data processing, etc. Women sit on-line in satellite offices or at home at a computer and do not have to leave their residential areas and can "earn some extra money" on an hourly basis. It saves on the construction of public transportation systems, on an educational infrastructure for looking after and raising children, and on institutions for the care and welfare of elderly persons and those who cannot help themselves.
On the other end of this "global conveyor belt," 70% percent of the former 900,000 jobs in the textile and clothing industries were eliminated between 1970 and 1995 again predominantly womens jobs. This elimination was even more thorough in the former GDR: only 26,500 jobs remained of the 320,000 in the textile industry (ibid.). The textile and clothing industries were especially affected in Saxony, where 93 years before "Saxonys most significant labour dispute" was carried out and went down in history (see Notz 1994). It involved a strike by the textile worker from Crimmitschau concerning the 10-hour work day, higher wages and better working conditions. The textile industry has been almost completely "liquidated" there today, and predominately womens jobs have been eliminated. Other jobs in the region are not available to them.
The absence of resistance in the form of large strikes and the (continued) lack of support by male dominated trade unions as in the past has to do with the fact that the "job site family" is supposed to be palatable to women, instead of their fight to save jobs. When mens jobs were affected by plant shutdowns, the affected parties could count on the solidarity of women (i.e. Bischoferode, the mineworkers chain).
The Feminisation of Employment
In the past decade, two distinctive trends have characterised this development on the global employment market.
First: More and more women "are crowding" into the employment market world-wide and they no longer want to return to the stove at home, not even in those countries, where there are fully programmed microwave ovens. 41% of the employed in industrialised countries are women. It is 34% on a world-wide basis (Wichterich 1997). This tendency is increasing although women in Central and Eastern Europe and in Africa south of the Sahara are disappearing from the employment market.
Second: Employment relationships especially for women are becoming more and more flexible and precarious. Women are therefore only the token winners in the global employment market. If one examines employment relationships, one finds that a lifelong full-time job with security is the exception. The rule is a patchwork career with interruptions because of periods of child-upbringing and taking care of the elderly or sick or unemployment, with exclusion from ones profession and more or less successful integration into ones profession again, occasional employment, minor employment or unpaid "voluntary" employment.
The United Nations named these two distinct trends "The Feminisation of Employment" on the occasion of the fourth World Womens Conference (ibid.). This is because employment structures world-wide are considered "female employment patterns." They are also increasingly leaving their marks on men though. Women are simply the pioneers of this new organisation of work.
Can We Still Speak Of A Job Market
The global employment market has split into different segments in the past few decades. We are also getting a taste of this in the FRG. In view of the precarious situation of many employment relationships, one can no longer speak of the employment market: the first employment market with (relatively) secure employment relationships in terms of wages is becoming more and more restricted and is followed by a second employment market with payment
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below the wage scale; this is followed by a third employment market with jobs that are subsidised by the state, and a fourth employment market with work requirements for welfare recipients and the long-term unemployed (see Möller 1995, p. 13). In respect to womens work, this process of splitting-up still needs to be expanded upon: there is a fifth employment market with illegal work in which one predominantly finds migrant workers. Available positions are found in the sixth employment market; on a world-wide basis, the market of voluntary work possibilities in the areas of social services and health care is apparently without pay, and the seventh employment market involves domestic work and home nursing in a family. The last two "employment markets" are not found in the job market. Nevertheless, there are employment agencies for the sixth employment market in all large cities, and the seventh employment market is available through the marriage market (see Notz 1996). According to the desires of modern economic policy-makers, all employment markets are supposed to have a considerable distance from one another and from state assistance (where we live it is welfare) which is becoming more and more restricted on a world-wide basis. Access to the first employment market is becoming ever more problematic without a quota system for women. However, independent job security is to be found almost exclusively there. The precarious situation primarily for women is again intensified by three trends: the international division of labour, new management concepts, the further advancement of mechanisation.
Trimming Down Slimming Diet or Anorexia?
With the help of lean-production and lean-administration, companies, offices and organisations are attempting to reduce the core workers as much as possible and in the process to minimise costs in order to shift individual employment to "contract work" in the informal sector or to cheap-wage countries. Trimming is the ideal of every organisation. Discussions about sensible products and labour organisations that are fair to human beings give way to the apparently single goal of companies which is "to save." If lean-production was originally supposed to mean keeping the equipment, administration and staff of a company as small as possible so that workers would become motivated and push the company ahead in a creative, innovative and effective way, it seems to have resulted in the fact that many employees and workers are exhausted and fulfil their duties with difficulty. Men are preferred as core workers. Women work on the fringe in precarious working conditions with limited employment, in part-time jobs without security, in general in so-called "bad jobs" in the informal sector or as the "recently self-employed." Especially unskilled and semi-skilled women disappear sooner than men from the production of goods, while men break into womens domains in the service industry (trade, banking, etc.). But also for core workers not everything is so rosy: growing alienation from work through more and more high-tech, an increase in the intensity of work, mobbing, getting burned out, mounting stress, slight pressure, and subtle intimidation. Often enough we get a taste of very tough competition and the gradual loss of solidarity.
The Effect of Globalisation on the Work of Women
Transnational groups of affiliated companies claim to have created approximately 120 million new jobs for women directly through domestic companies or indirectly through subcontractors because of export strategies (Wichterich 1997). In this sense, women were the winners of globalisation. If one looks at the quality of the jobs, one can say that they were at best the quantitative winners.
Cheap female employment is regarded as the "diving board in the world market" (ibid.). Orientation towards exports means in the South as well as in the East orientation towards women. This is true for lighter manufacturing, the service industry sector and also for agriculture, forestry and fishing: 80% of agricultural and other subsistent work that serves self-sufficiency di-
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rectly is being carried out by women in Africa, while men are preferred as workers in export and market-related areas (Mies 1996, p. 6). Also in Asia and Latin America, the involvement of womens work in the direct production of food is high (see Lanje 1995).
It is not only a question of low wages, or the "nimble fingers" or the lack of trade union organisation. It is everything together and even more which makes womens labour so popular. It is also the fact that one can reckon with discontinued employment for most women due to time-off for giving birth, taking care of and raising small children, and caring for parents, in-laws, and other persons. This flexibility corresponds with the needs of businesses and the desire to stabilise the division of labour in the nuclear family. The world-wide conceptualisation of women as temporary or part-time housewives, as "additional earners," or as "co-earners" justifies the reduction of educational spending at the cost of women, it justifies their low wages, their uncertain working conditions, and the continued refusal of men to look after the house and children in their place. Furthermore, women who are regarded as additional earners can be laid off with much less problem because of the poor work situation or production relocation; men are after all the "breadwinners" and carry the economic responsibility of the family. The immense disadvantage for women, which arises through the label "additional earners," begins before pregnancy, extends far beyond this, and affects women who were never mothers and never wanted to be.
In conjunction with the last World Womens Conference 1995 in Beijing, the ambivalence of including women in the low-esteemed wage sector was heatedly discussed. On the one hand, the quantitative gain of employment cannot be ignored and it brings along with it a certain economic independence for women; on the other hand, it also has a price. The world-wide liberalisation of trade takes place at the expense of financial sources that were originally opened up by women. Handmade goods and products by domestic industries are no longer competitive in respect to cheap imports. The culture of local trades and craftsmanship has become lost. Products that are exported on a large scale (i.e. cotton and yarn from India) become hard to find and are more expensive on local markets because the production costs for domestic manufacturers have increased enormously. On the other hand, even the so-called "developing countries" are being flooded with cheap products from abroad (from second-hand clothing to agricultural products). This means that the subsidised planning and development of measures to increase income (in part) through the help of developmental aid and the marketing of domestic products is being strongly hindered.
Nevertheless, the working conditions and the earnings in the export industry are better for the most part than the occupational alternatives that women face as maids, in the informal sector, as self-employed workers, as helping members in families, or as prostitutes. Developmental experts report that women often seize new social areas beyond the nuclear family and beyond patriarchal control and that they form new kinds of solidarity and a new work culture among themselves (Wichterich 1997).
Admittedly, paid employment under capitalistic-patriarchal conditions is not automatically a vehicle for more rights or for more economic independence either in the countries of the South or anywhere else. Moreover, the differences between male and female wages have increased in most export-oriented countries. Even across Europe, women earn approximately 30% less than men on the average where they receive their pay and income (Commission of the EU 1992). They even earn less when they have the same working hours and job positions and are employed in the same sector (see Damm-Rüger 1991). In addition, this tendency always starts to emerge when labour-intensive industries become rationalised and mechanised, and men take over areas previously held by women. Segmentation according to gender is increasing in Europe just like in Africa or India: men operate the machines and women sew on the sewing machines; men do the programming work and
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women process the data. Womens jobs are also the first to be eliminated because of automation. This will also be the case with the enormous wave of modernisation that is coming to the service industry area.
Female developmental experts fear that the quantitative progress for women in the entire employment spectrum will become lost in the transition to capital-intensive production. The conclusions that were drawn for industrial nations on the occasion of the World Womens Conference in Beijing were that there is certainly no occasion for optimism. Women remain the "sediment of the economy." Even if they have good grades in school and educational degrees, or if they have even gained qualifications in some other way, they remain on the lowest level for the most part. Male society is resistant, and there are "glass ceilings" (Buchinger and Pircher 1994) and open and "secret committee proceedings" (Notz 1995) to keep women in certain positions and to keep them away from the influence and high standings of these positions.
The Gender-Specific Division Of Labour Is Firmly Established
The large number of employed individuals has not broken down the division of work between men and women anywhere. Most women work in the preparatory fields of office and administrative work, in service industries dealing with people, and in the low-wage sectors of industry as well as in social, health care and educational occupations in the public sector. In the USA more than two-thirds of female employees already work in the service sector. In the FRG it is approximately 80%, and of this percentage 82% work in small and medium-size businesses (Möller 1996, p. 41).
(Not only) in Europe is part-time work on the very top of the list of political employment options. As early as 1983 and 1987, 70% of all newly created jobs in Europe were part-time jobs (Wichterlich 1997). In the FRG alone, 1.5 million part-time jobs were created between 1982 and 1994. 30% of all employed women in 1994 were employed on a part-time basis; for men it was only 4% (Rudolph 1995, p. 24). One argues that an increase in part-time work would make employment for more people possible, from which even the unemployed would profit. This hope proves to be a fallacy: the result of the present expansion of part-time work is that the number of full-time positions will decrease. For those women, who occupy two-thirds of these part-time jobs in the USA and even up to 90% in Germany, this means the loss of personal security.
Women in "unprotected employment" (Möller 1988) are forced to survive without personal security as well. These are employment relationships that are typical for marginal workers rather than core workers. These are employment positions that centrally deviate from "typically" normal work relationships, whether in the length of contract, hours of work, job security, or, for example, special benefits. Today in England one finds day labourers again. These workers have the freedom not to work if they do not "want to," and they are not bound by labour contracts.
The number of positions for part-time employment has increased as well. These jobs are not subject to social insurance contributions (starting 1-1-1997 jobs that do not pay more than DM 610. in former West Germany (DM 520. in former East Germany). In many fields with "typical womens jobs," part-time employment has also become the "norm." This is the case with 90% of the cleaning jobs and 90% of the domestic work for instance. In the FRG, female trade union members have joined together with womens associations to form a nation-wide alliance with the goal of achieving legislative reform that would include part-time employees in the social net of society.
Since the labour market cannot satisfy all those seeking paid employment, at least as long as work is not distributed differently, politicians unanimously recommend becoming self-employed as an all-cure for unemployment and offer the slogan: Help yourself, and the goddess will help you. In central and eastern Europe, as well as in the eastern and western part of Ger-
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many, women make up 30 to 40% of the "new self-employed," and in the USA it is even three-fourths. The fewest of them can live independently from their "micro-businesses." The businesses of women lack capital. The effect of employment is minimal. In the FRG, over half of the businesses consist of the founder alone. It is necessity and innovation that encourage them to start businesses. Most women do not hope to earn big money at the very beginning. In Eastern and Western Germany, almost a quarter of the women are forced to get along on less than a net pay of DM 1,000. Women from the South, who cannot survive the competitive battles and are not able to market their products, often retreat for various reasons to activities that are criminal: prostitution, making schnapps, dealing with smuggled goods, etc. Labour market statisticians, who categorise every small vendor as a businesswoman, are pleased about the decrease in the number of the unemployed and give women credit for being willing to take risks and for being innovative and enthusiastic.
By means of a large advertising campaign, the number of women who care for and nurse people on a "voluntary" basis in charity organisations, churches, womens associations or elsewhere is supposed to be increased; it concerns people who cannot help themselves, no longer can help themselves, or temporarily cannot help themselves. Voluntary work is being ideologically re-evaluated today at a time of reduction in social programs in industrial countries and it is being offered to women as "substitute work" (see Notz 1989). "Volunteers" are supposed to take over social responsibility and promote solidarity in families, in communities, and in international associations (Gaskin et. al. 1996).
Female Migrant Workers Serve as a Movable Mass in the Job Market
A multi-dimensional flow of migration work is increasingly contributing to the dynamics of global employment. Women constitute a growing portion of the highly-qualified workers who are in exodus to countries where their work is better paid (Wichterich 1997). They are also involved in the migration of unskilled workers who primarily function as domestic servants, nursing personnel, or employees in the leisure industry. Millions of female migrant workers are reckoned with as movable masses.
As we know, the export of "workers as a commodity" is organised beyond borders and outside of the law by traders and those bringing people into the country illegally. Female migrant workers, who often possess no legal documents, are forced to sell their work under the worst conditions. They are often the victims of sexual violence, are considered fair game, and, on top of that, are at the mercy of increasing racism in the major part of the countries in which they are looking for work and livelihood. They work mostly in unprotected work relationships and/or in personal dependency relationships in rich countries of the world.
The Clear Losers Are Women From The East
The clear losers of globalisation are the many women from the previous socialist economic systems that were run by the state. They are well trained for the most part and have a life-long history of work on a full-time basis. The transition to a social market economy, which can no longer be referred to as social, has hurled them out of the production process. They should be happy to be able to devote themselves entirely to their families and to be rid of the double burden. In Central and Eastern Europe, women constitute on the average 70% of the unemployed today. Viewed on a long-term basis, men will be unemployed and women will be housewives. Well-educated women from the East will furthermore be driven from so-called "male occupations" and will concentrate on "typical female" jobs.
The Feminisation of Responsibility
It is here that the globalisation of responsibility begins: the dramatic reduction of jobs, the reduction of social programs, and the elimination of subsidies in many countries contribute to the
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fact that world-wide social inequality increases along with the globalisation of the economy. Women are increasingly held responsible for "social matters." In order to put food on the table for themselves and their children, many women have to rely on planting more crops and producing goods for their own use, this means subsistence economics. The unpaid work thus increases. Subsistence economics and self-help are only possible, however, if resources such as land or simple equipment and machines are at ones disposal. These are often lacking. At the same time, women need more and more money to satisfy their basic needs. For precisely this reason, not everything can be produced through self-sufficiency. In order to earn a better income, integration into the market is absolutely necessary. The enormous workload is rarely offset world-wide by another division of labour within the family (see Notz 1991). Moreover, an economic crisis often destroys traditional family unity as well. In many regions of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa, the number of households run by women is increasing. On a world-wide basis, it is increasingly the women who attend to the food, the children, and the elderly (see Mies 1996, p. 6).
It is primarily the women who take care of the clean-up and repair work, dispose of the scrap, rubble, and garbage pilled up around the globe from the "working world" and repair the mass devastation. It is also women who demand more influence in regional politics and regional economics and who fight against further exclusion from social programs. It is primarily women who stand up for regional economics and self-sufficiency, against globally organised profit maximisation, as it is also the women who fight against consolidated food companies whose fundamental production is based on biotechnology and gene technology. For this reason, women from all over the world opposed the Novel Food Ordinance on the occasion of the World Food Conference in Rome in November 1996. And on the occasion of the World Womens Conference in Beijing, a very clear rejection to globalisation policy was given by women from the South, who had among them many women from rural areas. They recognised that they themselves had to bear the burden of a form of production and consumption that admittedly made luxury products for consumers in rich industrial countries, for which they had to constantly work longer and harder in order to earn a living (Mies 1996, p. 20). For organisations concerned with developmental policy, women have become the bearers of hope for some time now, they have become the "tireless warriors of poverty" who reliably, initially and creatively perform the societal dirty work and housework and organise survival (see Wichterich 1988).
What Does This Mean For The Future Of Trade union Policy?
For the near future, one cannot count on the creation of new jobs that secure ones existence. And not at all for women. On the contrary, we have to reckon with the further destabilisation of what already exists. And we have to reckon with continued "social polarisation" (Rifkin 1995) which results in social exclusion, criminality, impoverishment, a return to a primitive state, and increasing barbarism. Social polarisation is treated today even by some trade union members as a natural law, as if nothing can be done against it.
It is worth terminating the international partnership agreement which placed global economies on the pillars of growth that destroy the environment; it is based on full employment with paid jobs and the sexist division of labour. We will have to define full employment anew. For the trade unions it will be essential to look at employment on the whole. This also means that the "low-income self-employed" who have neither the means of production nor other individuals to work for them, will have to integrate people into their strategies from underground or alternative economies, from the informal sector and local economies, and from home economics and the unemployed. They will have to aim their strategies not only at creating jobs but also at the human and democratic aspects, as well as the content and usefulness of products. It means
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socially necessary, sensible and possibly self-determined jobs in all fields of work.
Finally, it involves the internationalisation and globalisation of opposition and resistance. Christa Wichterlich is correct when she writes: "On the global market, international womens solidarity needs new paths and measures" (1997b). She reports on protesting female textile workers in Cambodia and elsewhere, pointing out that the protests are always directed towards the female workers when the production and factories are relocated in other countries so that one can reckon with little resistance. She draws the conclusion that on the global market even resistance and protective measures have to be globalised. Minimum social standards appear to be indispensable as they were demanded by the WTO in terms of organisational freedom, and bans on forced labour and child labour. Without including the interests of women, it is not worth the paper that it is written on. The fourth World Womens Conference in Beijing, in which female trade union members from all countries took part, showed that women all over the world fight for their rights and influence in politics, economics and society. From the women of the South, among whom there were many women from rural areas, a clear rejection to globalisation was given. They recognised that they themselves had to bear the burden of a form of production and consumption that admittedly made luxury products for consumers in rich industrial countries, for which they had to constantly work longer and harder to earn a living (Mies 1996, p. 20). They demanded the strengthening of regional cycles, and less organised profit maximisation on a global basis. Nevertheless, they recognised that as long as nation-states and capitalistic economic systems exist, there is the need to take part in socially organised employment for which one demands a due price. On the occasion of the World Food Conference in Rome in 1996, women from all over the world opposed the Novel Food Ordinance and thereby fought against consolidated food companies whose fundamental production is based on biotechnology and gene technology. The campaign for chemical-free clothing, which are also worn by trade union members, shows that protests by female consumers can be successful.
Trade unions in individual countries should make available detailed information on the segmentation of the labour market, gender-specific segmentation, etc. in co-operation with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU). Moreover, trade unions have to develop offensive strategies that take into consideration the advantages as well as the disadvantages of various employment relationships. In doing so, it must also be prevented that traditional trade unions and alternative womens organisations are played against one another.
Trade union work policy cannot restrict itself to making sure that womens participation in the job market is respected. Gender politics in the future cannot be carried out alone on the basis of the quantitative participation of women. It means sensible, socially useful work that provides personal security and not just any kind of paid work. It is not enough that women (world-wide and regionally) demand half of the moldy cake, or even half of the window seats on the Titanic. Globalisation is not an ideology that developed in the heads of economists or sociologists, and it is also no natural disaster. It has been created by people and people have been called upon to set "limits to globalisation" (Altvater and Mahnkopf 1996) if it contributes to a worsening of working and living conditions. Working and living conditions always mean paid and unpaid work. The limits of globalisation also mean limits to exploiting women.
Finally, it means a radical shortening of working hours and the equal distribution of limited available paid work and unlimited available unpaid work to both sexes so that it is possible for men and women to take on cleaning work, nursing, and work that is oriented towards the community. We need an equal distribution of societal responsibility, a redistribution of societal wealth, and social transfers of the rich regions to the poor regions of the world.
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