How do patriarchy and capitalism jointly reinforce the oppression of women?

Shortened and provisional version of the second chapter

13 September 2018 by Camille Bruneau

(CC - Flickr - veganstraightedge)

In the summary of the first chapter, we have laid out a number arguments for the necessity of feminism today. They include violence, the lack or suppression of fundamental rights, under-representation in politics, poverty, economic marginalization and the threat posed by anti-feminist movements. Further than those alarming threats to gender equality, we also made clear why the CADTM identifies with the feminist struggle in its mission to fight all kinds of dominations. Not only are women victims of the patriarchal order, they are also at the front-line of the consequences of debt and austerity around the world. Before going into the details of the consequences of debt and austerity on women in a later chapter of the book, this second chapter introduces the theoretical basis that is necessary to grasp the link between some of today’s biggest systems of oppression: patriarchy and capitalism.

Divided into three main sections this chapter aims to
• explore and show how patriarchy and male domination is a social construction (which can therefore be deconstructed), naturalized though discourses, symbolic violence, myths and legends, etc.
• show that capitalism and patriarchy together reinforce the oppression of women. They must therefore both be fought and defeated.
• reflect on how the domination of women persists in the era of globalization
To this end, we first explore theories that allow us to better understand the basics of patriarchy and the naturalization of inequalities. We conclude that it is necessary to conduct a political and critical deconstruction of patriarchy as a system. We then show how capitalism has reinforced patriarchal norms, notably during the industrial revolution and later on through consumerism. We further argue that capitalism uses and needs patriarchy for its own reproduction. This historical combination reinforces the oppression of women, notably in the way it makes women’s work invisible. Through a number of examples from the North and the South, we show how different economic logics reinforce this joint oppression, especially in a time of economic globalization.

For lacking of a better terminology, we speak here of « North » and « South » (or souths). Far from generalizing the diverse situations of the many countries concerned, we use this analytical distinction in order to show a domination relationship imposed by neo-colonial and economic powers, referred to as “the North”. Their governments (and not of course all their people) and the institutions they are over-represented in profit from this domination.

Note that this is still a work in progress which will go through a number of changes.

Inspired by a text by Denise Comanne [1]

First part: Debts and feminisms: an overview of the book project – first chapter

1.1. Women’s work is systematically demeaned
1.1.2. Domination is characterized by a lack of rights
1.1.3. Domination is always paired with violence, be it physical, moral, structural or symbolic
1.1.4. The naturalization of inequalities

2.1. Women’s oppression preceded capitalism, but the latter profoundly transformed it
2.2. Patriarchy: a founding principle of capitalism

2.2.1 The confinement and inferiorization of women; an opportunity for capitalism
2.2.2. Capitalism: an opportunistic and dynamic system

2.3. The undervaluing of women’s work
2.3.1. The private sphere
2.3.2. The public sphere In the North: institutionalized discrimination
Auxiliary Income
The gender wage gap
Part time employment In the South: women pay the price of capitalist expansion
Wage work
Informal work


4. Conclusion : capitalism and patriarchy – one struggle !


Patriarchal societies are ancient and preceded capitalism. Characterizing most societies today, patriarchy refers to the oppression and marginalization that women undergo as women in societies where power is mostly detained by men. Indeed, the latter are generally over-represented in influential spheres, be it in political, economic, cultural or family domains. They therefore have privileges, which are embodied in their domination. This domination is reproduced in many ways, beyond strictly economic, legal or political means: through language, stereotypes, religions, culture, traditions, the media, … It takes on various forms, whether one lives in the North or in the South of the globe, whether one lives in a rural or urban environment, depending on one’s age, etc. Indeed, there is no unique « woman » identity, and the oppression they experience is not predefined because it is influenced by intersectionality, which, in simple terms, refers to the superposition of identity traits such as nationality, race, class, ethnicity, beliefs, gender or social status. Gender subjectivities are diverse and socially constructed, and women (as well as anyone) are often victims of multiple oppressions according to the overlapping of those identity traits. Revolt against real and felt oppression, or even the acquisition of new rights, does not necessarily challenge patriarchy: indeed, it is also necessary to get rid of justifications and occurrences of ordinary sexism in order to have a real political criticism of patriarchy as a dynamic power system, capable of reproducing itself. Being a feminist, therefore, is about becoming aware of this oppression, and, having realised it is a system, attempt to destroy it in order to allow for women’s liberation.

Masculine domination should not be reduced to a sum of scattered discriminations, but is rather a resilient and “coherent” system, which shapes most aspects of individual and collective life. In the first part of the chapter, we present the main characteristics of that system.

1.1. Women’s work is systematically demeaned

Women are often exploited at their workplaces and in addition perform long hours of free domestic work – if you count both aspects, women overwork in comparison to men, globally. The non-mixity in the realm of household tasks and responsibilities, which had long gone unnoticed, is one of cornerstones of a social order built upon male domination, which means that the assignment of tasks to women or men is based on gender role representations rather than individual abilities. [2] This division resulted in a confinement of women in the household or in occupations that are close to domestic tasks (the “care” sector: cleaning, healthcare, …) which they supposedly naturally perform. This so-called complementary distribution is in fact a hierarchization of “masculine” activities over “feminine” activities. The latter are under-valued and paid less because performed by women. The more women in a sector, the lower the wage in that sector.

1.1.2. Domination is characterized by a lack of rights

The chapter gives examples of countries across all continents where women still have too little, or even no rights, and largely depend on their fathers, husbands or sons. In every country there are laws that specifically target women while it is not the case for men (except for homosexuality and military service in some cases). Moreover, they are generally written and voted by men: beyond formal rights, women are in fact also deprived from the right to make decisions about their own lives.

We cannot deny that women’s rights in western countries have improved in parallel to the development of capitalism but let’s not fool ourselves: it was not about freeing women from oppression but about maximizing production, consumption and profits. Legal reforms do not challenge the basis of sexism and allow patriarchy to develop freely, imposing divisions, sexual and psychological constraints, and using women’s allegedly inferior nature to legitimize discrimination. The only way to reach gender equality is to radically attack gendered ways to conceive the world. [3] We should keep in mind that, as we are talking about a system, even if as an individual a man wishes for equality and acts accordingly, he still remains part of the privileged social group whether he wants it or not. As Marie-Eve Surprenant (2015) argues “It is not about men abusing power, but about power abuse set up as a system”. [4]

1.1.3. Domination is always paired with violence, be it physical, moral, structural or symbolic

Physical violence is for instance domestic violence, rape, mutilation, or even murder. Moral or psychological violence consists of insults, humiliations, threats. Structural violence is fostered by the institutions of a given society, which prevent some individuals from fulfilling themselves. Structural violence is implemented though institutions like school, justice or the political and electoral system, and ultimately marginalises a part of the population. We can speak about structural violence on different scales, for instance, through neo-liberal trade agreements or development “aid” and debt, some countries are disadvantaged.

As for symbolic violence, it is present in myths and discourse, and very little is made to stop it as opposed to strictly physical violence. In this part, we give a thorough description of symbolic violence, which provides the theoretical basis for understanding the reproduction of patriarchy.

Every society is characterized by discourse and traditions, which, from the earliest age, shape cognitive maps and understandings of the world. We give examples of how most cultures, narratives, and representations have, for a long time, depicted women as naturally intended for men (heteronormativity), intellectually and physically inferior, and being good mainly at producing children and raising them. Symbolic violence becomes part of one’s way of thinking and basically leads to the (mental) exclusion of a whole range of political and social possibilities. The state as well as institutions play a big role in spreading this symbolic violence. The different types of violence reinforce each-other and are central to patriarchy. We also note that in any system, symbolic violence is directed at everyone in order to maintain a hegemonic order: men are supposed to be strong, courageous, attracted by “sexy” women, and so on, and they are also invited to suppress or control „feminine“ emotions. It is allegedly extremely humiliating for men to have a „normally feminine“ occupation such as cleaning, or to be unemployed and stay at home and look after the kids while their partners have a job. On the contrary, it seems absolutely normal that women should perform these supposedly humiliating tasks. Why, in a society that claims to apply gender equality, would it be so humiliating for men to take care of their own children but not for women? There is no logical reason, and this is precisely where symbolic violence is at work. Other examples in the chapter show that the patriarchal order maintains itself through a violence that is directed at both men and women, especially when they get out of their pre-defined roles.

1.1.4. The naturalization of inequalities

Inequalities are assumed to be unavoidable because nature cannot be changed. Part of the chapter is dedicated to explaining the socialization of sexism and how inequalities as well as a gendered reality become internalized, seen as natural and unchangeable, based on the description of various myths and representations. They include the mother instinct and a comparison between different approaches to motherhood, feeding and education habits. We show that far from being a pre-existing truth, those perceptions shape individuals in very different ways across cultures. What is deeply revolting is that, in different ways across the world, women, themselves victims of this patriarchal order, always contribute to the reproduction of their own oppression through the education of their children. This illustrates Bourdieu’s reflections on the unconscious complicity of victims, which is developed in the previous section. The naturalization of social power relationships pervades the behaviours of the dominants and dominated and pushes them to act according to those power relationships. This kind of discourse results in assigning people unique identities: as Simone de Beauvoir famously said in The Second Sex: “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman”.

This is not about denying anatomical differences between men and women: It is one thing to observe a difference, and another to interpret it as an inequality. When, in a given society, a whole array of natural attributes is used to differentiate social groups, one can suspect an unequal social power relationship hidden behind this discourse. In this respect we compare the oppression of women to that of 19th century proletariat or colonized people and slaves, which, over time, reaffirmed the dominance of bourgeois, Christian, straight white males. We also give examples about how colonization has been a strong vector for the generalizing of western gender standards, from north America to Senegal. This first section leads to understand that patriarchy, more than a simple system, is an integral way of thinking that is profoundly anchored in our cultures and daily reflexes. It is therefore illusory to believe that sex-equality will be achieved through rights and legal reforms alone. Only a system change, along with a real mentality change, can bring about the end of women’s inferiorization. Feminists have understood that for a long time ago, and this is why they also frequently oppose capitalism, another naturalized system.


As Cinzia Arruzza explains, there are three main hypotheses underlying the feminist analysis of the link between patriarchy and capitalism. The two-systems theory claims that gender relations are an autonomous system, just as race or class relationships. As patriarchy preceded capitalism and has survived ever since, they must be independent from each-other. While defenders of this hypothesis do not exclude the fact that they occasionally influence and profit Profit The positive gain yielded from a company’s activity. Net profit is profit after tax. Distributable profit is the part of the net profit which can be distributed to the shareholders. from each-other, they still tend to analyze women’s oppression as separate and follow the same methodology as analyses of class oppression: women make up a “patriarchal class”, which is exploited by the dominant “male class” which appropriates the work of the former. Delphy, for instance, in the Unique Enemy, shows that women, whatever their social status, suffer oppression from men; Despite the importance of her work, following this logic obscures other economic dynamics. We believe that it is necessary to add capitalism in the reflection as all members of one “patriarchal class” are not comparable: rich women also exploit poor women. Only looking at gender classes while ignoring socio-economic dynamics inherent to capitalism obscures any understanding of patriarchy as it is and reproduces itself today. Moreover, a simple binary division between “men” and “women” conceals other oppressions such as that of queer people.

The second hypothesis considers capitalism as indifferent to patriarchy, and even having eroded the latter. Thanks to capitalism, women gained rights and freedom… It is however very clear that capitalism profits from the reproductive work performed by women as well as the demeaning of a whole part of the population. Seeing patriarchy as eroding over time is profoundly counterproductive to any emancipation movement.

The third “unitary theory”, defended by Aruzza and the authors of this book, claims that patriarchy cannot possibly be considered as independent from capitalism, which is a complex social order based on domination and exploitation relationships. The goal of this approach is to develop an understanding of how capitalist accumulation perpetuates gender oppression (Aruzza 2014). This theory is not minimising the importance of psychological mechanisms and behaviours inherent to patriarchy, but insists on the fact that it is necessary to study the contexts that allows them to foster. This context is capitalist accumulation. In the next part of the chapter we proceed to a historical analysis of how capitalism transformed women’s oppression.

2.1. Women’s oppression preceded capitalism, but the latter profoundly transformed it

Domestic work, in the modern meaning of the term (that is, undervalued and/or unpaid) and the concept of the „housewife“ were born with capitalism, and are not, as many believe, a residue of a pre-capitalist era. Indeed, a detailed historical analysis provided in the chapter and summarized here describes women’s conditions in relation to evolutions in the economic realm, especially in western Europe. It shows, among other things, that the sexual division of labour has nothing to do with physical abilities.

In the 10th century, the common model was that of “traditional” patriarchal families, where the father / husband authority was central yet women had an important role in production and subsistence. From the 15th century onwards, with the start of the merchant economy, mechanization, urbanization and manufactures as well as the expropriation of land by the bourgeoisie, the worker/producer lost control of its means of production and the household thus became a consumption unit, separated from production. This trend resulted in a differentiation between products produced outside the household, and those produced within, now non-barterable and thus considered less valuable. From the 16th century onwards, women started to be excluded from guilds [5] and became confined to activities that were extensions of domestic and reproduction work such as wet nurses or healers. The progression of capitalism had formalized the separation between production places (enterprises) and reproduction places (families). Thereby, a new representation of the “housewife”, mostly present in wealthy households, developed and reinforced the contempt towards women “forced” to work outside because their husbands were not able to keep them.

With the French revolution, a number of rights such as divorce or private property were granted to women so they could become “free” workers and consumers. During the industrial revolution in the 19th century, production allowed for a surplus to emerge, which provided workers with a salary and allowed for a middle class to emerge between the big industry bosses and the workers, such as notaries and bookkeepers. They would earn enough to maintain a family. The social divide could then not only separate individuals among classes, but also among sexes by creating active or productive individuals (men) and inactive or unproductive individuals (women), within the ideal of the new “middle class family”. This slowly crystallized in the invisibility of household tasks, not considered to be valuable contributions to society. Industrial capitalism sanctified the representation of women as housekeepers, through a dominant discourse spread by the church, doctors and a number of manuals (see symbolic violence). To cope with the alienation of wage labour, the domestic sphere became a refuge allowing workers to reconstitute their labour force. The unpaid work of women therefore served the establishment of capitalist exploitation. The whole education of young middle class women was centered around their role as inactive women and mothers. From the 20th century, men not only needed women to ensure the reproduction of their labour force, but also faced the ideological pressure to fit into the socio-economic model of the middle-class family, in which a man must be able to sustain a family. The bourgeois family institution became a standard aspiration.

The notion of the housewife slowly imposed itself as the hegemonic model, supposedly corresponding to a natural order. In wealthy families, she ensures the reproduction of social status (what Artous calls “accumulation of symbolic capital” [6]), while in popular classes, she reproduced the labour force. In both cases, her place is at home.

In opposition to mainstream assumptions, proletarian women did not stop working but had to face multiple contradictions such as combining housework and hard-working conditions outside of the home.

During both world wars, as factories were emptied off their workers, women were massively recruited and had to face a double workday (paid at the workplace and unpaid at home). The return of men from the front almost always meant that women were sent back home. The occupation of those work positions by women as well as by migrant workers was a perfect (yet totally illegitimate) excuse for employers to reduce wages. While one salary was enough to sustain a family in the 50s, since the 70s or so, two salaries are barely sufficient as many households are constrained to take a loan. [7]

In the period that followed WW2, the booming of advertisement directed at women embodied a double interest Interest An amount paid in remuneration of an investment or received by a lender. Interest is calculated on the amount of the capital invested or borrowed, the duration of the operation and the rate that has been set. for capitalism by fostering an increase in consumption, and feeding the image of the perfect housewife and mother, who loves cooking, hoovers, and is always pretty. In short, “Patriarchy is imposing gendered norms that capitalism is selling us”. [8] It is by now clear that capitalism and patriarchy are not independent systems but that capitalists (themselves having grown up in a patriarchal environment) find an interesting market in the application of patriarchal norms, are inspired from them and simultaneously reinforce them.

With the development of the welfare state, supposedly a great achievement of democratic and capitalist western societies, a gendered model is further-confirmed: women are essentially treated as mothers and wives. In that same period, various other gendered macro-economic tools such as the GDP GDP
Gross Domestic Product
Gross Domestic Product is an aggregate measure of total production within a given territory equal to the sum of the gross values added. The measure is notoriously incomplete; for example it does not take into account any activity that does not enter into a commercial exchange. The GDP takes into account both the production of goods and the production of services. Economic growth is defined as the variation of the GDP from one period to another.
are developed by male economists and politicians, which we detail in the book chapter.

Although women have always worked, the 70s marked their massive arrival on the labour market, and with the 80s’ neo-liberalist expansion, they were the first victims of its inherent crises. The welfare state was slowly replaced by a market model which brought many states into heavy deficit. Once more, the condition of women evolved in contradictory ways, both at the local and international level.

The situation today is that women accumulate many more (paid and unpaid) working hours than men. For many women, the market economy has brought about injustice, like in the former Soviet Union where highly qualified women were recycled into “feminine” jobs, lost their jobs or turned towards prostitution.

Therefore, it becomes clear that the development of capitalism has transformed the role of women within the family unit, and modified as well as amplified their oppression. Indeed, the concept of the housewife is not a residue from a pre-capitalist era but was rather created during it. As we see in the next section, capitalism in fact uses patriarchy in order to ensure its ever-growing profits.

Debt: a historical domination tool

Private debts go very far back in time and always have been a tool for the transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. For many people, they are still today a synonym of social death. Some people face debts without having contracted loans, such as slaves (we estimate the number of people currently enslaved to at least 27 millions), the descendents of families owing debts, or the victims of current austerity measures. Because of the hegemonic nature of patriarchal norms as well as the fact that financial activities are mostly run by men, these dispossessing debts have not been gender neutral, on the contrary.

For instance, during the antiquity, women – who were not citizens – could be part of the goods seized from a family who could not pay its debts. In the middle ages, among the women condemned as witches, one could find free women that refused to pay their debts. Here we can see the symbolic masquerade at work, where women are portrayed as evil in order to satisfy the economic interests of the rich.

Private debts today (micro-credits, which mostly target peasant women, or student loans, …) still are a source for women’s poverty and mental as well as economic instability. They have risen against those debts in Morocco, Argentina and Bangladesh among others. Still today, women are exploited, prostituted or enslaved (in the DRC for instance) for the repayment of their debts. Debt and interests being central mechanisms in capitalism, we cannot deny the connection between capitalism and women’s oppression.

Public debt, which is closely linked to private debt (because public debt often implies cuts in services and higher individual credits), is at the origin of north-south domination, as well as austerity measures everywhere, which impact women more strongly as we will see in chapter 4.

2.2. Patriarchy: a founding principle of capitalism

2.2.1 The confinement and inferiorization of women; an opportunity for capitalism

We claim that capitalism did not only transform patriarchy but needs the patriarchal system, that it has used it, and continues to reproduce its conditions in order to profit from women’s unpaid and/or depreciated work. For Aruzza, capitalism without gender oppression has never existed: the loss of rights and properties previously possessed by women (such as land, authority over the family or craftsmanship) constituted one of its first forms of accumulation.

As we saw, capitalism transformed the traditional patriarchal family and created the image of the housewife. But patriarchy, that is task division, the belief in the inferiority of women, and the dissociation of their work at home from any market value, served capitalism by rendering his type of work free to a large extent. Capitalism relies on this depreciation of domestic work, which allows it to make huge savings. Without this gender domination, combined with class, race, and domination on nature, that system would simply collapse.

In this section we show that women perform the vast majority of free work. Many studies show that while women are about 50% of workers, they contribute to less than 50 % of the GDP because of the devaluation Devaluation A lowering of the exchange rate of one currency as regards others. of their work. Moreover, the free domestic work of women varies among countries from the equivalence of 10 to 50% of GDP (33 in France). In the US, childcare alone makes up to 20% of GDP. We further explain, based on ideas by Jean Gadrey, that the way GDP is calculated is gendered.

Getting rid of free work?

Free, unpaid work is directly linked to patriarchy as almost only women are obligated to do it. Free unpaid work is economic exploitation. Delphy and others advocate the end of unpaid work (rather than a better sharing of it). It is interesting to denounce unpaid work, but we do not agree with the idea that paying is enough as it would simply fit into the capitalist framework and encourage ever more working hours. Abolishing gratuity, affections, solidarity, gifts and quantifying everything is not a solution. Rather, we need a radical change of mentality.

This idea of „domestic wage“ was developed by Federici in 1975, when she argued that it would serve as a recognition, that can further be an instrument for change: once such a salary exists, it can be changed, negotiated,.... It is for her a fundamental opposition to capitalism by questioning its unpaid work basis that allows for its reproduction. It also puts into question assumptions about „female nature“ and roles. So for her, it is not about earning money, but rather, it is about visibilising it and using that financial autonomy for emancipation from it and from capitalism. For Federici, this wage will not confine women in the kitchen, but will be a first step towards refusing this work. This campaign faced a lot of virulent opposition, which shows that still today, daring to oppose free domestic work means being a bad woman. Still today, this proposal is the source of many debates within social movements and among intellectuals.

2.2.2. Capitalism: an opportunistic and dynamic system

Capitalism is a production mode that pervades and structures all types of social relationships. Capitalism did not hesitate to call upon women’s and children’s cheap workforce in the 19th century in order to increase production and profits. It plays with women in a completely opportunistic manner in order to adapt to economic fluctuations. In periods of prosperity, women are massively demanded, as was the case until the 70s in electronics manufacturing or the tertiary sector. They are however still systematically considered to be a back-up or secondary workforce. In times of recession, as we have experienced for almost 30 years and especially since 2008, employers as well as the state continuously give incentives for the partial retreat of women from the labour market, so that they can focus on their maternal duties. In short, when the capitalist state needs workers, women are sought for, and paid less than men, which brings down all salaries. In prosperous times, the state invests in social services as a way to increase an ever more demanded flexibility of workers, especially for women who are over-represented in part time, flexible jobs.

This tendency to reorganize has direct consequence on gender relations: on the one hand, capitalism is feeding on a pre-existing oppression system (patriarchy), and on the other, it comforts it. Indeed, the historical oppression of women justifies political decisions when it is more profitable to send women back to their “real” place at home. Whatever the proportion of care taken by the state, women always perform more unpaid work than men. The capitalist system therefore crystallized women in a constant instability, and reaffirmed them as disposable workers, just as many other groups today (Bauman 2003). As we shall see later, this dynamic now operates on a global scale.

Family also plays a central role in male domination with three central functions: reproduction and transmission of values, emotional buffer, and labour market regulation. It is indeed where extra workers can be found when needed or where they can be sent back when superfluous: capitalism needs something external to itself in order to create added value. It does the same with women or precarious workers as with nature.

2.3. The undervaluing of women’s work

As Bourdieu explains, the same tasks can be considered noble and difficult when done by men, while insignificant and invisible when performed by women. For instance, there is a clear difference of perception when we talk about a male cook or of a female cook. For men, sewing or cooking, brings a lot of prestige and money. The same activities have next to no value when performed by women.

2.3.1. The private sphere

In some parts of the world, when children are asked at school about their parents’ occupation, when their mother is unemployed/a stay-at-home-mum, they should check the “nothing” category. This nothing says a lot about the invisibility of domestic work. However, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO), [9] unpaid domestic and care work is considered work: it produces goods and services for the household. It includes cooking, cleaning, fetching water. Over the world, women spend in average 2 and a half times more time than men doing such tasks. Social norms are resilient and still consider women as the main givers of care. [10] This gendered labour division has decreased over time, notably because less time is spent on cleaning. This reduction is however not due to a better distribution but to smaller family sizes, a bigger economic autonomy for women, which allows some to pay external help (23 % of couples in Switzerland). Technologies and infrastructures also reduce time spent on some tasks, such as fetching water. The reduction of the working week in France in 2002 did not bring about any significant change in the distribution of domestic tasks either. [11] In 2016 in those so called “developed” countries, women spent about 4 hours and 20 minutes every day for unpaid work, much more than men. In the United States, it is estimated that an employed woman works a total of 94 hours per week. [12]

In “southern”, or so called “underdeveloped” countries, this unpaid work is often longer, harder, and more unfairly distributed. According to a UNICEF study, women collectively spend 200 million hours every year fetching water. They are often associated to this vital task, needed for the 2 billion people that do not have access to water, especially in times of climate change. In sub-Saharan Africa, many women spend up to 6hours per day to fetch water, a situation that gets worse with water privatizations: we can imagine the consequences on perspectives for education or a stable job...they are close to nonexistent. Water is also essential for agriculture and farming, in which women are major actors, yet ignored in political decisions and unrepresented in terms of land property. [13] A historical analysis of Senegal developed in the book shows how unpaid domestic work slowly became the norm with the influence of colonization and government policies.

2.3.2. The public sphere

Globally, women work less paid hours and represent the larger portion of underemployed people. While amounting to 40 to 50% of total employment, they represent, globally, 57% of part-time employment. Men tend to be more frequently acing excessive working weeks (more than 48 hours per week) than women but this does not include unpaid work. In 100 countries covering 87% of total employment, 34% of women have a part-time contract while this is only the case for 23% of men. Figure 8 (from ILO 2016) shows the proportion of time-related underemployment (because of other obligations, notably family responsibilities) In the North: institutionalized discrimination

Job inequalities are a precious lens to use in order to understand the perception of women in society. While they are more and more present on the job market, they are also those mostly touched by unemployment, low salaries or underemployment. According to the ILO, a job that prevents a balance Balance End of year statement of a company’s assets (what the company possesses) and liabilities (what it owes). In other words, the assets provide information about how the funds collected by the company have been used; and the liabilities, about the origins of those funds. between work and family needs is not a decent work. In a large study by IPSOS in G20 G20 The Group of Twenty (G20 or G-20) is a group made up of nineteen countries and the European Union whose ministers, central-bank directors and heads of state meet regularly. It was created in 1999 after the series of financial crises in the 1990s. Its aim is to encourage international consultation on the principle of broadening dialogue in keeping with the growing economic importance of a certain number of countries. Its members are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, USA, UK and the European Union (represented by the presidents of the Council and of the European Central Bank). countries, this specific difficulty is the number 1 worry for 44 % of women. Wage inequality and harassment are the following two concerns. The structural discrimination of women on the job market is embodied in three main aspects.

- Auxiliary Income
The notion of auxiliary income and work results from the idea that women are only a complement to men and that as their work is worth less, they should be paid less. Because they are less productive, and are naturally gifted for domestic tasks, it is only natural that they compensate with free household work!

This odious notion accounts for the flexibility imposed on women, justified by so-called natural reasons, which are in fact economic. It is an attack on women’s rights by stripping them off the dignity to be considered workers in their own rights – they are reduced to less efficient complements to men. It is one of the historical reasons behind wage disparities.

- The gender wage gap
Still today various factors result in a large disparity between women’s and men’s wages, everywhere.

The global gender wage gap, all types of work combined, stagnates between 20 and 30 %. There is no single country where average wages are equal. Indeed, careers where women are over-represented are often undervalued (health, education). In some industrial countries, the gap is even increasing, such as in Canada, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain.

In France, the general average, all types of work combined, is 27%. The gap varies according to the level of education or the type of career and can go up to 39% in some sectors. On average, 10 percent always remain, even in “twin cases” (same education, age, job, years of experience). They are what we call the 10% of “pure discrimination”, that cannot be explained with “logical” or “economic” factors.

The USA is a good example of intersectionality, where wage inequality is high, especially for women of colour. The three tables below show that Hispanic women earn barely more than the half of what white men earn, while white women earn 80% of the latter’s salaries. The same study shows that with age, the gap grows bigger. While a white man would have paid back 44% of his student loan (around 10.000 out of 22.000 dollars) in a few years, Hispanic women pay back around 3% in the same time. Wage inequality means that women are more subject to unsustainable debt.

Among the discriminatory mechanisms that reproduce the gender wage gap and therefore male domination, we can identify occupational segregation (vertical) and sectoral segregation (horizontal). This means that men generally represent the great majority of CEOs (higher salaries). In parallel, women and men are respectively over-represented in different sectors: women are more present in low-salary sectors such as services. Why is that so, considering that women have better school results? For Benomar, this is simply due to patriarchal ways of thinking, reinforced by social anticipations and economic obstacles: women often interrupt school earlier, not by lack of capacity, but because they know they will manage to get a job already, a less well paid and less respected job, which is supposed to fit the female condition.

All these factors add up in a clearly inferior wage.

- Part time employment
Finally, in addition to a lower pay per hour because of the position of women in the labour market, part-time employment also contributes to wage inequality, and comforts women’s disadvantageous condition. Part-time employment is the most prominent form of female under-employment. Its existence as such is not a problem, but it becomes one when it is imposed, be it consciously or unconsciously.

In Europe, around 80 % of part time employment is performed by women.

In Europe in 2016, 31,4 % of women aged from 20 to 64 worked part time in comparison with 8,2 % of men. [14] Despite great variations per country, these figures show a rooted injustice. This tendency originated in the 1980s, during the economic crisis that pushed many women to renounce their full-time jobs. It is in fact governments that sold part-time work as a solution at that time. Even the Minister for work and equal opportunities (Belgium), a women herself, announced in 1992 that there should not be more than one full-time job per household ! [15] Part time work favours liberal politics and whole sectors of the economy are characterized by this type of work. There is a number of political interests inherent to part-time work: it is useful to conceal unemployment statistics; indeed, even if working only a couple of hours per week, a person will not be counted as unemployed. Another aspect is that part-time workers usually have fewer rights. Not only do they earn less, they also have smaller pensions. This is where the gender wage gap intensifies, as the gap between men and women was 38 % in 2011 and 42% in 2016 in France! Another consequence for women is that on average, they are less likely to have access to the kind of training offered to full time workers. Therefore, they are less likely to be offered promotions.

Part time work implies working hours that change regularly. This often unpredictable flexibility puts women into very precarious and unstable situations, which do not at all help achieve a work-family balance, as some would like to make us believe. For Benomar, part-time employment is one of the strongest deregulation of the job market. Not knowing how many hours one will work, and when or how much one will earn at the end of the month is a huge factor of material and psychological vulnerability.

The wage inequality that follows traps women in dependence relationships, or in poverty. For Falquet, this confinement in eternal “more or less paid work” forces women to seek compensation in appropriation relationships that allow them to better survive, yet lose freedom and fulfillment. [16] In the South: women pay the price of capitalist expansion

The marketization of women’s work in the south, often considered as “lagging behind” by financial institutions, is in fact happening with a disturbingly brutal speed, which shakes up women’s conditions – freeing them, maybe, from family or traditional obligations, but making them dependent on economic conjunctures. [17] It is one thing to work, and another to do that with dignity.

Since the 1980s, a decade symbolizing the neoliberal expansion as well as structural adjustments, the work of women has evolved towards more precariousness. More than a detailed analysis of specific countries or regions, this section aims to show how capitalism’s generalized penetration deteriorates the situation of women in southern countries, crushed by debt’s burden and imprisoned in scandalous notions of “development”.

- Wage work
Wage work in the south is characterized by a number of legal and administrative barriers as well as low wages. The demeaning and exploitability of women is seen as an opportunity for investors and economic development by institutions such as the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

or the OECD OECD
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OECD: the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, created in 1960. It includes the major industrialized countries and has 34 members as of January 2016.
. Although southern women, to a certain extent, benefited from globalization because of growing employment, their real conditions have not really improved, as they remain the disposable workers of big companies. Without claiming that men are not exploited, on the contrary, we consider that the exploitation undergone by women is stronger, notably because of daily violence. In Thailand, it is considered that women are not “profitable” any more after 5 years: they are sent back to their villages, where they risk falling back into poverty. [18] In addition to workplace exploitation, the gender wage gap also is a reality. It is as high as 40% in Ethiopia, Peru or Qatar in sales and services. As in most countries, two kinds of segregation overlap: a higher sectoral segregation often implies a lower occupational segregation – there is less disparity among workers in “feminine” sectors, yet these sectors as a whole are paid less in comparison with others. Moreover, they are characterized by the absence of regulations concerning working hours, which sometimes results in exhaustion or suicide. This gendered labour division implies that men are the first beneficiaries of technological upgradings, [19] such as when we observe that mechanisation of agriculture targets areas traditionally reserved to men (plowing) and not those reserved to women such as sowing. The transition to the market economy has left many behind, thereby increasing the double-workday of women. Female peasants generally work more for lower pay because they are less likely to have access to training, loans, [20] land and technologies. Just as in the manufacturing sector, they are confined to low-technology jobs with highly competitive prices. [21]

For the ILO, economic growth will not bring about a decrease of the gender wage gap. In fact there is absolutely no correlation between the two. Rather, we can observe that structural adjustment Structural Adjustment Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.

Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).

plans bring about a dismantling of labour-rights and labour unions
, as well as a creeping liberalization which considers human beings like competitive means of production. Globally, we do not see any diminution of sectoral segregation as women remain confined to lesser paid jobs, which remain extensions of domestic work.

Despite their importance, these inequalities on the labour market are not the biggest economic obstacles for women: in many countries, it is rather informal work.

- Informal work
Informal or black work is characterized by a lack of regulations, which allows for demeaning and unstable work conditions. Women mostly work in agriculture, small scale enterprises and informal work. Although it is hard to quantify, the latter is growing in the south and was estimated to involve about 60% of urban jobs in Africa and Asia, and 25% in Latin America in 2003. [22] In 2009, the estimate was about 80% for African workers (rural and urban work), and roughly 2 billion people in “developing countries” which is about 2/3 of the global active population. [23] Informal work usually grows in times of crises, which suggests exploding proportions today. As far as they’re concerned, the World Bank and the OECD encourage informal work as it is good for profits by reducing companies’ constraints! For the OECD, informal work is a “necessary evil” for economic growth...But at what cost?

In the course of economic restructuring, ever more precarious types of work become the norm, and it is often women that endure the conditions imposed by TNCs. Informal work means instability and the absence of rights, which means a total vulnerability over the long and short run. Economic growth usually brings about an increase in informal work because it lowers the costs and increases profits. Informal work is therefore a direct consequence as well as an engine of capitalism. Structural adjustments result in the closing down of many services and push women into dramatic and contradictory situations: While the formal sector is associated with a “modern” Africa, and informal work to traditional values like solidarity by some economists (such as Mahamadou Lamine Sagna) [24], we argue that this capitalist modernity they celebrate is not only at the origin of wage work and more rights, but clearly a factor for the uncontrollable growth of the informal sector, which is, in fact, the true face of “2oth century Africa” crushed by competitiveness and falling prices. In each case, women lose because of the gendered labour division and creeping patriarchal values spread during colonial times. Unlike Sagna, we do not romanticize informal work. Capitalism and the economic crises that are inherent to it have transformed this kind of labour, rendering it more precarious than wage labour. The informal work we speak of here is the one capitalism has spread, where the poor make the food and products for the privileged, where the ones giving services to the latter are exploited, invisibilized, thrown away. This type of exploitation, which goes a long time back when it comes to domestic work and prostitution, increasingly affects the north. In Greece and generally in Europe, it is often migrant or irregular populations that have no other choice but to work in the informal sector, because of an ever more destructive globalization.

What about education?

Although education has changed the destiny of girls and humanity, it also remains a tool for formatting people by glorifying certain aspects and episodes of history. While higher levels of education have been a factor for decreasing segregation in the past, today it does not significantly affect omnipresent discriminations. Indeed, similar educational levels (except in certain regions), do not reduce sexism, stereotypes and occupational inequalities. Women still have, on average, 27% less chances to find a job than men.

Occupational inequalities are in fact partly explained by education and the repartition of school subjects, themselves influenced by socio-cultural factors inherent to patriarchy. We keep hearing that education is the key for the emancipation or empowerment of poor women. This is within the logic that considers us to be rational economic beings (homo economicus); that means that in the context of liberalization, families will make cost benefit analyses of their household management and figure out that sending their daughters to school is more profitable on the long term. This would logically lead to reduced birth rates, higher education levels, incomes and productivity… in short, a virtuous cycle! This logic completely ignores patriarchal norms and pure discrimination which keeps many girls away from education. It also ignores the fact that the possibly informal or part time jobs they may find might indeed ensure a little salary but not a great emancipation. Furthermore, it ignores that this same liberalization is behind rising prices of basic services and needs like water or environmental degradation which make women and girls spend more time on difficult and long tasks like fetching water. In parallel, structural adjustments often lead to the privatization of schools, and thereby reduce access and quality. When families face choices because of their income, girls will often be the ones not going to school because they can help at home. What is needed, rather than liberalization, is a radical transformation of education, where gender stereotypes are fiercely fought from the youngest age.


Through colonization, patriarchy spread under its western form, transforming cultures and / or reinforcing existing forms of patriarchy. It also allowed for the spread of capitalism. Since the 80s, we are undergoing neo-liberal globalization. Capitalism, a dynamic system, is characterized by the use of domination relationships to serve accumulation. Capitalism without gender oppression has never existed and it continues, today, to dispossess women. The economy is reorganized on a global scale in order to satisfy the never-ending appetite of elites and of consumers: the world’s most vulnerable women become an exploitable workforce. A growing number of analyses refute the idea that greater employment for women contributes to gender equality. Indeed, greater participation on the labour market does not mean better living or working conditions. In fact, the opposite happens in some regions. Globalization, as capitalism, has contradictory consequences.

Improvements in working conditions do not apply to most women. Moreover, women are over-represented in agricultural and other low-paid jobs, that remain associated with domesticity: they do not allow for emancipation.

Before engaging in the consequences for women, it is worth noting that by globalization, we refer to economic and neoliberal globalization, which began in the 70s, when Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan glorified liberalization and the deregulation of markets. This means that globally, prices become dependent on market fluctuations and that finance becomes more influential. Financial transactions move freely unlike people, and are governed by the search for maximal profit. Imposed on emerging nations, and followed by the former Soviet bloc, neoliberalism became the norm. Globalization means the free movement of capital and also of transnational companies which invest where constraints are lower and prospective profits are higher, thereby avoiding taxes. The only way, for others to survive is to maintain low prices and workforce costs, which drives many countries and populations into terrible instability. The laws of the market are fundamentally gendered because implemented by gendered individuals within gendered institutions that work according to gendered logics: they serve specific interests and maintain privileges. In this section, we further develop how the demand or cheap domestic labour in “global cities” lead to a greater exploitation of migrant women. We also describe some of globalization’s consequences on women in the realm of wage labour (looking specifically at subcontracting, off-shoring, and the consequences of subsidized goods in the context of ever-growing trade and competitiveness), domestic work (in the context of austerity measures that reduce state services and increases the need for cheap domestic and reproductive workforce), violence (economic, occupational, environmental, sexual, psychological and physical violence growing as a result of land-grabbing, war , work exploitation and poverty), and migration (looking at the triple oppression - racial, economic and patriarchal - that migrant women have to face). Women, especially migrant women, suffer the most from globalization because the great neoliberal project needs to maintain differentiated social categories in order to benefit enterprises. [25] We must therefore not only fight marginalization between races, classes and genders but more generally between north and south. As we have seen, patriarchy needs the demeaning of women’s work in order to perpetuate the status quo. Capital accumulation is based on that free or cheap work which allows for its reproduction, whether in times of crisis or prosperity. With globalization, these trends are amplified. With debt crises, it is indeed women that suffer the most.

We hear that men are the first victims of economic crises. Indeed, mass loss of jobs in industrial sectors are well mediatized as the first consequences of the financial crises. However, over time, the sectors most affected by unemployment were health, education and public services. As workers and beneficiaries of social services, women are thus greatly affected by austerity measures.

By re-organizing social reproduction work on a global scale, the current globalization is creating a “world market for cheap labour” [26] which traps women and other disadvantaged groups in an impasse, where work, or rather exploitation, is not a means for emancipation. Falquet develops the concept of “connected vessels” to explain oppression dynamics. When one diminishes, others grow bigger. Types of oppression are linked and unless addressed coherently and at their roots, problems and exploitation will only be displaced.

4. Conclusion: capitalism and patriarchy – one struggle !

There will be no equality in one domain if it is not reached in other domains simultaneously. Masculine domination is very old and in constant evolution, reproduced through cultural and economic mechanisms. We have laid down the bases that are necessary to understand women’s oppression today. We also understood that this domination articulates in close relation with other power relations, such as between the north and south, classes or races. This allows understanding why struggles with only one axis are deemed to fail. Indeed, even if demeaned work is performed by women mostly, including white women, we must not ignore the fact that it also involves coloured and proletarian men. Therefore, a simple analysis based on gender only is not sufficient.

Patriarchy is a way of thinking deeply anchored in our behaviours and ways of seeing the world. It takes its justifications in myths and stereotypes, and widens its reach with structural and symbolic violence, which make inequalities appear as natural and even unavoidable… As long as we will not consider women and men, and all human beings for that matter, as equal, perspectives for real emancipation will only be weak because stereotypes imposed by the dominants will be reflected in our behaviours, actions, institutions. These inequalities are constructed and it is therefore possible to de-construct them. Bourdieu argues that there are three ways to challenge symbolic violence: 1) Practice a critical historical analysis of facts taken for granted. We have attempted to do so and feminists have done it before and will continue to do it after us. 2) Taking part in subversive activities, which feminists have done and do and which we encourage. 3) Foster a symbolic revolution, which we indeed urge and wish to participate in.

We also showed that capitalism and patriarchy cannot possibly be considered independent from each other. We showed that capitalism penetrates and transforms societies, thereby reinforcing patriarchal norms at its own advantage. Since industrialization, women have become tools to be invested in or dismissed depending on economic conjunctures.

Women continue to work more than men. Even so, they earn less and are still considered inferior: this is the result of economic tools such as the GDP or trends like auxiliary or part time labour / work. In the time of globalization, these trends are transforming in contradictory ways, on the one hand increasing the participation of women, yet in ever-harsher conditions. They encounter violence, forced migration, lower wages which does not allow any reasonable work-family balance. Many women become part of a global proletariat within north-south domination relationships. Because it is still based on patriarchal values, any development will always disadvantage women. Let us bring that to an end.

Integrating capitalism in the analysis is necessary but can become dangerous if essentialized. As Sharon Smith (2013) shows, analysts like Gimenez have argued that the only enemy is capitalism and not men. [27] Surely all men cannot be thrown in the same basket and some are very precious allies. Yet, we should not forget that men are the main actors in the perpetuation of their own privileges, even if unconsciously. Let’s not forget either that the biggest bosses, economists and politicians are mostly men, who are surely interested in keeping women’s inferiorization for their own profit. An anti-capitalist struggle must therefore be a feminist one and refuse all kinds of domination and oppression.

No reforms will be efficient, however, as long as financial institutions hold countries and people in chains with debt and other conditions. It is necessary for struggles to converge.

As a growing number of researchers show, it is necessary and possible to fundamentally question the system. It is possible to reinvent other societies on other social, political and economic bases. We develop alternatives in the 5th chapter and hope that many will get inspired by all those practices to create, together, other forms of solidarity.

First part: Debts and feminisms: an overview of the book project – first chapter

- Artous, A. (2013), Oppression des femmes et capitalisme,
- Arruzza, C. (2014): Reflexion de genre (1). Patriarcat et/ou capitalisme: rouvrons le débat. Traduction française pour : Sylvia Nerina
- ATTAC (2003), Quand les femmes se heurtent à la mondialisation, Editions Mille et une nuits.
- Bauman, Z. (2003), Wasted Lives: Modernity and Its Outcasts, Polity Press.
- Benjelloun, B. (2013), Feminisme, races et sécateur du réel
- Bénomar, F. (2013), Feminisme : La révolution inachevée !
- Bertolt, B. (2017), « En Afrique, l’émancipation des homosexuels est liée à celle des femmes », Le Monde,
- Bouju, J. and De Bruijn, M. (2008), Violences structurelles et violences systémiques. La violence ordinaire des rapports sociaux en Afrique, A.P.A.D,
- Bourdieu, P. (2002), La domination Masculine
- Cessou, S. (2015), « Le poids du secteur informel », Le Monde Diplomatique,
- Chaponnière, M. and Lempen-Ricci, S. (2012), Tu vois le genre ? Débats féministes contemporains, Les editions d’en bas.
- Crémieu, E. (2014), Géopolitique de la condition féminine
- Deen, T. (2012), “Women Spend 40 Billion Hours Collecting Water”, IPS News,
- Deffrennes, M. (2014), « Mères au foyer, votre boulot vaut 7000€ de salaire mensuel »,
- Falquet et al. (2010), Le sexe de la mondialisation : genre, classe, race et nouvelle division du travail, Presses de Sciences po.
- Falquet, J . (2014), “Le capitalisme néolibéral, allié des femmes ?” in: Sous le développement, le genre/ Under Development, Gender (ouvrage publié en français et en anglais), coordinated by Chritine Verschuur, Hélène Guétat et Isabelle Guérin, Paris : IRD/Londres : Palgrave.
- FPS (2007), « Femmes et temps partiel »,
- Gadrey, J. (2009), « Le sexe du PIB », in Alternatives économiques,
- Gonik, V. (2017), « L’invention de la femme au foyer », Mediapart.
- ILO (2016), Women at work, trends 2016
- ILO (2017), “Should women work at paid jobs, care for their families and homes or do both?”,
- INSEE (2015), « Le temps domestique et parental des hommes et des femmes : quels facteurs d’évolutions en 25 ans ? »,
- Le Monde selon les femmes (2004), Les essentiels du genre 02, outils de l’approche de genre.
- Le Soir (2015) : « Des femmes manifestent seins nus à NY et dans des dizaines de villes »,
- Louis, M-V. (1983), Le droit de cuissage: France, 1860-1930, Editions de l’Atelier
- Malongte, A.G.,
- OECD (2009), « L’emploi informel dans les pays en développement : une normalité indépassable? »
- Robert, C. (2014), « Le salaire au travail ménager : Réflexion critique sur une lutte oubliée »,
- Sassen, S. (2010), Chapitre 1: mondialisation et géographie globale du travail, in Falquet et al. Eds. Le sexe de la mondialisation : genre, classe, race et nouvelle division du travail, les presses de science po.
- Smith, S. (2013): “Marxism, feminism and women’s liberation”,
- Surprenant, M.,E. (2015), Manuel de résistance féministe, Editions du Remue-Ménage.
- Sylla, S.N. (2001): « Femmes et politique au Senegal »,
- La Via Campesina (2017), « Déclaration de la Ve Assemblée des femmes »,


[1This chapter was inspired by a text by Denise Comanne (1949-2010), which was a first version for this chapter. Denise made the last edits to this text on May 27, 2010, the day before she died after attending a conference commemorating the DRC’s independence. She wished to continue working on that text as part of a collective work to strengthen the CADTM’s feminist commitment. This chapter has extensively evolved since then, but we still want to thank Denise for her work and commitment from which the following analysis developed.

[2Le Monde selon les femmes (2004), Les essentiels du genre 02, outils de l’approche de genre.

[3Of course we do need to have a gender lens in order to denounce patriarchy, but here I mean a way to conceive the world based on the hierarchisation of genders

[4Surprenant, M.,E. (2015), Manuel de résistance féministe, Editions du Remue-Ménage, p. 49, own translation.

[5Medieval trade associations

[6Artous, A. (2013), « Oppression des femmes et capitalisme »,

[7Benjelloun, B. (2013), « Féminisme, races et sécateur du réel »,

[8Surprenant, M.,E. (2015): Manuel de résistance féministe, Editions du Remue-Ménage.


[11ATTAC (2003), Quand les femmes se heurtent à la mondialisation, Editions Mille et une nuits.

[12Deffrennes, M. (2014), « Mères au foyer, votre boulot vaut 7000€ de salaire mensuel »,

[13Deen, T. (2012), “Women Spend 40 Billion Hours Collecting Water”, IPS News,

[16Falquet, J . (2014), “Le capitalisme néolibéral, allié des femmes ?” in: Sous le développement, le genre/ Under Development, Gender (ouvrage publié en français et en anglais), coordinated by Chritine Verschuur, Hélène Guétat et Isabelle Guérin, Paris : IRD/Londres: Palgrave.

[17Falquet et al. (2010), Le sexe de la mondialisation : genre, classe, race et nouvelle division du travail, Presses de Sciences po.

[18ATTAC (2003), Quand les femmes se heurtent à la mondialisation, Editions Mille et une nuits.

[19Whether this is desirable or not is another debate

[20Some nuance must be given on the widely used argument that women have less access to credit. Firstly, while the CADTM is fighting debt, which includes the vicious cycles created by private debt, we do believe that women and men should have equal rights when it comes to access to credit which can lead to some extent of financial autonomy. What matters is whether the conditions in which those credits are given and the interest rates are a source of domination and impoverishment. Secondly, it is worth noting that women are the biggest beneficiaries of micro-credits, which often do not serve emancipation, on the contrary.

[21Falquet et al. (2010), Le sexe de la mondialisation : genre, classe, race et nouvelle division du travail, Presses de Sciences po.

[23OECD (2009): « L’emploi informel dans les pays en développement : une normalité indépassable ? »

[24Cessou, S. (2015), « Le poids du secteur informel », Le Monde Diplomatique,

[25Bénomar, F. (2013): Feminisme : La révolution inachevée !

[26Falquet, J . (2014), “Le capitalisme néolibéral, allié des femmes ?” in: Sous le développement, le genre/ Under Development, Gender (ouvrage publié en français et en anglais), coordinated by Chritine Verschuur, Hélène Guétat et Isabelle Guérin, Paris: IRD/Londres: Palgrave

[27Smith, S. (2013), Marxism, feminism and women’s liberation,



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