Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation

Edited by Andreas Nölke and Christian May

Over the past few decades, corporations have been neglected in studies of international political economy (IPE). Seeking to demystify them, what they are, how they behave and their goals and constraints, this Handbook introduces the corporation as a unit of analysis for students of IPE. Providing critical discussion of their global and domestic power, and highlighting the ways in which corporations interact with each other and with their socio-political environment, this Handbook presents a thorough and up-to-date overview of the main debates around the role of corporations in the global political economy.
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Chapter 6: Corporations, gender equality and women’s empowerment: feminismco-opted?

Catia Gregoratti, Adrienne Roberts and Sofie Tornhill


The aim of this chapter is to document and critically analyze some of the debates around the supposed commensurability between gender equality and corporate rule. The authors survey a range initiatives and claims that emphasize the need to integrate women into the labour force, into corporate supply chains, and/or into top management roles of a growing number of corporations. These initiatives are underpinned by the ‘business case’ for gender equality, which, as feminists have argued, is deeply problematic in many of its assumptions. The authors map out some findings of ethnographic research on corporate-led empowerment initiatives aimed at women in the Global South, suggesting that these largely substantiate many of the concerns voiced by critical feminists. However, they further note that as these projects garner resistance from those social forces that they seek to silence and/or co-opt, they become central sites of feminist activism.

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