Davos World Economic Forum, where only 16% of attendants were women, had a session on women’s leadership. It was the first time in World economic forum’s history.
I followed it on twitter, as Internet is too bad here in West Africa to watch the livestream. And what did I got ? An anthology of evidences of women’s instrumentalization.
To be more specific, we saw in what extent are existing gender inequalities instrumentalized for economic growth
Let’s have a look at those two tweets :
Ok. But why do women spend 90% of their money on children ? Because that’s their (unpaid) work !
The sexual division of social roles consists in the over-representation of women in the unpaid-informal-care economy of taking care of children and elderly people. Studies shows that women contribute more than men to the destiny of their children, then yes, you can invest in women, and you’ll have more nourished and educated children. Yes, it is true; investing in women is one good investment to achieve the Millennium development goals.
But how does it empower women ? How does it make reconsider gender roles ? How does it help us to protect women’s rights ?
Seeing women as a good investment, IT IS taking advantage of their inequality with men to foster economic growth and achieve some MDGs. IT IS NOT a way to reach gender equality and women’s rights.
Since the World Bank’s 2006 action plan, “Gender equalities is smart economics”, we are falling down again in the “women in development” paradigm, an approach that totally forgets that gender inequalities are structural and have to be questioned. In their last World Development Report, precisely focused on women in development, the World Bank didn’t seem to change a lot it’s paradigm. (Read more on it in great Rachel Moussie’s reaction from Action Aid here)
World economic forum’s session on women’s leadership ends on these words : “Women aren’t the problem, they are the solution.” As a woman, I don’t expect to be the solution of their crisis.
I just want my rights to be respected and enjoy my liberty to live however I want.
On the same issue, read my article Gender@G20 (in french here)