As a Pinay feminist, should I be concerned with globalization in my homeland? With neoliberal economic development policies that address poverty in my country through privatization, trade liberalization, and integrating into a world economy controlled by the Group of Eight?
Hell yeah, this is a feminist issue.
Excerpts from a paper by Ligaya Lindio-McGovern:
[Trade liberalization] destroys local industries, creating import dependency for basic needs and ultimately resulting in food insecurity. Food insecurity hurts most poor pregnant women and children whose special nutritional needs are unmet. . .
Labor flexibilization. . .increases the exploitation of workers and poses obstacles to their militant unionization. . .In Export Processing Zones or Special Economic Zones. . .major international labels like Reebok, Adidas, Timex, Calvin Klein, Fujitsu, and Intel have a large share of their workforce subcontracted as contractuals, majority of whom are women and youth, forced to do overtime hours in 6-7 days a week in a period of 3-4 months at a time. . .
the concentration of Filipino female export labor in domestic service work reinforces labor segmentation in the host countries based on gender, race/ethnicity, and class– —consequently entrenching a transnational division of female labor where low-wage, low-prestige domestic work is generally assigned to migrant women from poorer countries. . .
How can my interests in issues such as globalization be a “distraction,” a dilution of feminist issues? If women’s needs were addressed as economic policies were being drafted, then perhaps we could have come up with more inclusive policies in the first place.