Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feminist Economics

While searching for a topic to write my blog about this week, I was struck by the title "Feminist Economics." I was curious as to why there was a need for an entire branch of economics just for females, but after doing a little research it is easy to see why.

To put it simply, this is the study of the relationship between feminism and economics in a society. The area points out that a country's GDP is not an accurate measurement as it cannot account for unpaid labor, mostly done be women. This can range from a stay-at-home mom in the United States to a water-gatherer and home-keeper in Bangladesh. Feminist economists have created models of many of the economic concepts we learn about, while accounting for added gender analysis in these models. They also propose that a nation's success is not measured in monetary quantity, but in a country's well-being; are the needs of its people being met?
They also focus on employment equity and ethical judgments. Not only do feminist economists study how gender affects an economy, but they also look into race, religion, and other categories of analysis.

I don't know if anyone else will find this interesting, but it caught my eye and I actually think it's pretty cool now.


BethanyStoppel said...

Coming out of Women's Studies last semester (another great McDaniel class) I can see why there would be a need for "Feminist Economics". It's true that in many societies women do more "work" and arn't compensated for it. A nation's success should be measured by how well people can provide for themselves not by monetary means. It's always important to take all perspectives when trying to "solve" problems.

savannahc said...

that is very very very interesting to me. the more i learn about GDP the less accurate it seems. although it is good for a very general idea of how healthy an economy is, along with ignoring these unpaid roles that woman have (and men too actually), it also fails to include externalities, the existence of black markets, among many other things.

caitlin said...

I never knew that there was a specific position looking at women and economics. I'm glad there is, but then again it's sad that there needs to be one. Though, women and men are different in ways of thinking and solving problems. It is nice to know there is someone out there to look for women and the economy today.

KM said...

...and you thought I was the only one... :)

It's a fascinating look at things, really. Once you start looking at life as an economist, it's hard to stop. The Women's Studies class is very different to me than one I would have looked at as an undergrad student. I could spend days in there looking at comparisons worldwide of wage rates, forced prostitution, etc. I think my students would get a little bored, though.