Workshop: Global Women's Work in Transition

Event Date: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014 to Friday, September 26, 2014
Location: 
Prospect House, Room E

The Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination will sponsor a workshop, “Global Women's Work in Transition,” September 25-26, 2014 at Princeton University. An interdisciplinary, international cohort of scholars will participate in the discussions. Interested faculty and graduate students are invited to attend (RSVP to Angella Matheney by September 19).

The workshop will address the central question, “How are women shaping the post-2007 global economic landscape and options for economic security through their labor, activism, and multiple discourses about work?” Workshop participants will engage in a gendered examination of work in the global economy by participating in a focused dialogue about women's economic security and the effects of the recent global economic downturn on women’s labor force participation and workplace activism, and will analyze the impact of geopolitical economic transformation on the gendering of work. Individual workshop sessions will look at sector-specific examples of women’s economic participation in various regions of the world: Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The workshop will also provide a forum for circulating and evaluating completed chapter drafts for a forthcoming edited volume Global Women's Work: Perspectives on Gender and Work in the Global Economy (Beth English, Mary Frederickson and Olga Sanmiguel-Valderamma, eds.).

A key goal of the workshop is to generate discussion about the normative standards of labor for women, how they have or have not remained static across time and place, and possible strategies that workers, activists, policy makers, and international organizations may pursue to address long-entrenched status quos. Participants will be asked to consider, for instance, best practices for the creation of strategic alliances and coalitions—locally, regionally, and transnationally—among interest groups with intersecting causes to move forward a woman- and labor-friendly agenda. Likewise, how might NGOs, civil society organizations, and international federations of trade unions successfully leverage their capacities to function locally and globally simultaneously to embed in local laws and workplace practices internationally agreed upon standards such as the ILO’s core standards and principles or the UN’s Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women? Critically, how might women themselves shape and initiate strategies for their own empowerment?

The workshop is part of LISD's project on Women in the Global Community which examines women’s participation in and the functioning of gendered structures and norms in the international system. From the grassroots to diplomatic circles, the project on Women in the Global Community focuses especially on economic activity, institution building, human rights, security, and negotiation and reconciliation. The project's research agenda and related activities work to bring issues of gender to the fore and to address key issues, challenges, and promises of women’s empowerment as leaders, as economic actors, as autonomous actors, and as equal citizens in the global community.