Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips
Chapter 18: The global governance of gender
Gender has moved from the margins to the centre of the governance of the global political economy. Divisions of labour by gender are - and have always been - a key dimension of the global political economy. Recently, though, gender equality has been touted as a solution to a range of global governance problems, including sustainable economic development, financial stability and the eradication of poverty (World Bank 2012; United Nations Development Programme 2012; Clinton 2010). Despite this, gender has yet to become a central category in the study of the global political economy. This chapter examines the emerging global governance of gender equality and, to a lesser extent, the gendered governance of the global political economy by subjects and processes that reflect hegemonic masculine ways of knowing and acting. These are distinct but related subjects of increasing concern to many scholars and policy-makers. In the wake of the global financial crisis, gender equality in economic participation and gender balance in economic decision-making institutions are increasingly on the policy-making agendas of governments and international organisations. Ideas about gender are reconstituting both the ideologies and agents of governance - how the global political economy is governed and by whom. Deep gender divisions and inequalities persist, shaping the material structures of production and reproduction that sustain and trouble the dominant paradigms of economic growth and sustainable development and their global governance.
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