PHILIPPINES: Globalisation worse for women
BY SUSAN PRICE
MANILA — While the spin doctors of neo-liberal globalisation promote its supposed "benefits" to women, participants from 13 countries at the Asian Workshop on Women and Globalisation arrived at an alternative conclusion.
The workshop, which ran from November 22-24, was organised by the International South Group Network (ISGN) and brought together representatives of labour federations of women workers, rural women's associations and various women's grassroots and non-government organisations.
Participants from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, India, Nicaragua, Nepal, Australia, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Vietnam, Taiwan and Uganda presented various national experiences of the impact of neo-liberal globalisation and the campaigns which are being waged against it in their many forms.
Taking place in the days following the World Trade Organisation's fourth ministerial meeting in Doha, Qatar, and in the midst of the US "war on terrorism", it was a very timely gathering.
Gigi Francisco, the regional coordinator for DAWN, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, who had just returned from the WTO meeting in Qatar illustrated the way in which the WTO and the international financial institutions are now exploiting the September 11 terrorist attacks to hold the governments of the South hostage.
Since September 11, said Francisco, "the formula has now become: If you are not with us, you are against us."
The discussion over the following two days focused on country reports as well as a review of the campaigns against water privatisation, the issue of food security, the impact of a growing informal sector on women's employment and displacement and the ways in which the neo-liberal globalisation project has perpetuated women's second-class status.
The Unity Statement and demands adopted by the workshop reflected the main areas of agreement and will provide the framework for further networking over the coming period, in particular in strengthening networks in the lead-up to the Rio Plus 10 Earth Summit to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002.
[More information about the ISGN can be found at its web site <http://www.isgnweb.org>.]
From Green Left Weekly, December 12, 2001.
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