Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender
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Handbook on the International Political Economy of Gender

Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts

This Handbook brings together leading interdisciplinary scholarship on the gendered nature of the international political economy. Spanning a wide range of theoretical traditions and empirical foci, it explores the multifaceted ways in which gender relations constitute and are shaped by global politico-economic processes. It further interrogates the gendered ideologies and discourses that underpin everyday practices from the local to the global. The chapters in this collection identify, analyse, critique and challenge gender-based inequalities, whilst also highlighting the intersectional nature of gendered oppressions in the contemporary world order.
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Chapter 31: Industrialization, feminization and mobilities

Samanthi J. Gunawardana


This chapter highlights the constitutive relationship between gender as an analytical category and global restructuring, by exploring the experiences of women workers employed in export-oriented factories. It examines how enduring export-oriented development strategies have generated movements and migrations of primarily rural women to take up factory employment, within a policy context where temporary migration is touted as the panacea for poverty alleviation. The chapter extends this literature by arguing that we must move beyond nation-state-bound studies of rural-urban migration, or temporary international labour migration, to consider the movements of people through displacement and the creation of border towns and refugee camps. These spaces are regarded as sites where development problems such as unemployment are replicated in circumstances of extreme precariousness and insecurity, including protracted conflicts, but where state-led development strategies may exclude non-citizens. These situations have particular gendered impacts and consequences.

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