Globalization refers to the process through which trade and international finances integrate with various economic activities. It affects various labor market activities within the globe bringing together culturally, socially and economically men and women from various corners of the world. Through globalization the employment forms and job opportunities have got a new hand of performance. Men and women talented in different fields have now a chance to work in any corner of the world without any problem as the world is currently like global villages. Additionally, the business performance has improved due to the existence of large work force within the labor market. Through information technology the capital and financial flow have greatly been improved, thus making international finance flow at ease within the states. Since the 1960s, globalization has made it for the companies to expand their production performance and improving the quality of the manufactured goods hence a benefit to the society (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
The main reason for defining globalization this way is that, before globalization was fully adopted by various world economies, labor intensive form of production used to dominate. Moreover, the issue of gender inequality used to exist among the working men and women. Immediately, globalization was adopted, people thought it to provide equal opportunities for both men and women (Weber, 2010). According to World Commission on Social Dimension of Globalization (WCSDG), it was thought that the best cure to the issue of gender inequality was to promote globalization among the statesmen. Gender inequality means men and women have unequal opportunities in education, job opportunities, cultural and religious life and in international trade opportunities. In short it means that women are under the male beings. However, after seven years, globalization appears to act opposite to its own “globalization theory” which claims for equal opportunities for international trade opportunities and cultural values for all whether rich or poor, men or women.
This paper provides clear evidence of how the globalization we applauded for to ease the developing countries from the gender equality ditches turns out to be a full time promoter of the problem in Uganda and Bangladesh. Note that the two mentioned states represent how the situation in the developing countries is out of the full adoption of globalization. The paper will clearly define how the unfettered international free markets have contributed to the encroachment of the gender inequality lading to reinforced low status of the women in the developing countries (Weber, 2010).
Globalization and Gender Inequality in Bangladesh
According to the World Bank Economic report, Bangladesh, one of the southeast Asian-Pacific countries, lies within the developing countries category. Gender inequality has been as issue in the country, affecting the economic performance of the country since its independence inception. In the country women make the largest portion of the labor intensive workers and the most dominating population for the migrating care laborers to other countries such as China (Hytrek &Zentgraf, 2007). In order for any country to enjoy democratic participation and high economic prosperity it is vital for the statesmen to observe full implementation of gender equality among its citizen. Bangladesh, one of the developing countries has tried globalization but it has worked oppositely. International Labor Organization (ILO) Report released in 2000 revealed that social justice and decent work for all can be achieved through the countries adopting gender equality for all (Khan & Riskin, 2009).
In a Social, Human Rights Assembly held in New York in 2000, marginalization and feminism of women on the basis of poverty line were mentioned to be a key obstacle of gender equality in Bangladesh. Globalization was mentioned, to have contributed to the problem, as it ignored the poor women in the rural area and those not educated. It was found that globalization and especially of new technologies in production sectors rotated within the city and nobody was there to take it to the villages. This has continued to widen the gap of between the rich and the poor and more so to the population of the men and women in the country. Globalization was also blamed for coming with new legislation in the world market which has greatly impacted on the Bangladesh women especially on those who depend on art and crafts such as weaving. There was a vacuum left by globalization when it came with cultural exchange where the social development among the citizens and which bound them in unity was abandoned. There is no conducive environment has been left for the communities to create links for cultural exchange (Weber, 2010).
Globalization has also been associated with debt burdens and continuous economic sanctions imposed on the developing countries like Bangladesh, have barred the rural women access to the loans hence the gap between the poor, whose majority are women and the rich whose men form the largest portion continues to widen. The Bangladesh government has done little to ensuring the technological advancements enjoyed within the city by the rich have been moved to the rural areas. As a result the gap of gender inequality has continued to expand among the citizens. Mobile phones among other technological devices have not been adequately spread in the rural areas (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
Thirdly, globalization in Bangladesh has been associated with a lot of benefits such as access to credits to the women and the youths so that they can start small businesses. However, whenever they arise they are concentrated to better off women who have good education level, hence that illiterate woman in the shanty end up scooping nothing. To make the matter worse, they even don’t access any information as to whether there are women enterprise fund being allocated to females. The government has done very little to correct this globalization externality making the gender equality problem to encroach further. A report issued by the UNs Women Watch Online Group on Women’s Economic Inequality (2011) revealed that less than 42.6% of the women in Bangladesh only adequately access the loan facilities. Women claim that there is a tedious procedure followed in the issuance of the loan. However, the government has not taken any action. The loans are issued on the basis of how well an individual is known by the officials (Padilla, 2007).
Copenhagen Program of Action in 2009, advocated expansion of micro credit facilities to the poor women in Bangladesh, however, the program has faced a great drawback from the men who have made great aggressions to the females. The men have failed to pay the loans back to the women. Additionally it was reported that some of the women were brutally beaten by their husbands whenever takes the loan facilities. This has led to the increased number of divorces with the country hence globalization leads to social economic problem within the families. These physical and verbal aggressions have made most of the Bangladesh women and especially those married to be at bay when the loan is rendered. Other women also run to the risk of being kept out of the business as the cultural perceptions of the Bangladesh citizens do not allow women to engage in business transaction. This led to the UNIFEMS reports of a research carried out in the Asian and African countries to propose that globalization must be changed to be more accountable to the women from being more profitable to people who are the centeral form of social development (Salverda et al., 2009).
Lastly, the social political and economic performance of Bangladesh was found to stammer out of the introduction of globalization as the educated women were reported to look for better jobs in the neighboring and Europeans countries, leaving their families and local jobs. Some are also reported to have migrated permanent to these countries. This means those left are the majority of the females who are uneducated. Those left lack the economic and political egoism hence male politicians remain to dominate the country politically. This problem has led to emergence of poor governance in the country. This means that globalization continues to promote gender inequality in the country in the name of expanding ironically the international trade among various countries. Through migration of the people from the country to the neighboring countries, for example, in China the cultural ties of the communities in the country are destroyed. The migrants are said to adopt a new culture of the people to mingle with in the new country (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
Globalization and Gender Inequality in Uganda
Uganda just like Bangladesh is enlisted in the group of those countries that are said to be less developed. Over a long time period the country has experienced a series of wars and inevitable coup d’état until the mid-1980s.The country progressively growth has not been pleasing according to the various World Bank reports released annually. As a way out to poverty, the country has adopted certain technological advancement, educational reforms and entry in various trade agreements with other East African countries. These changes have been brought about by globalization, which indeed has given a lot of its citizens, job opportunities, varied cultural exchanges and more important, new technological devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras. In April 2000, the Ministry for Gender and Social Work organized a national dialogue on globalization. The dialogue brought together various stakeholders such as government, trade unions, businessmen and civil society organizations .The meeting was also attended by Bill Brett, who was the president of World Commission on Social Globalization .The aim of the dialogue was to collect views from the Ugandanians on the impacts of globalization on their lives and to find solution on the impacts so as to have globalization fully integrated in the drivers of economy (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
The people’s view cut across the benefits and costs of globalization. It was evident that some of the country’s citizens were beneficiaries of globalization while others wished that globalization would not have been adopted. The stakeholders came to a conclusion that globalization contributed to the inequality among men and women. In addition to that it was found that the gap between the rich and the poor widened. Women formed the largest portion of the impoverished. This was because of them being alienated from accessing education, micro-credit facilities and social-political issues. They recommended that if Uganda can enjoy the benefits of globalization but it has to ensure that mixed policies have been applied in all sectors of the economy. The research followed after the dialogues illustrated that globalization contributed indirectly to the spread of gender inequality through the following ways (Salverda et al., 2009).
Gender inequality was enhanced in the country as companies opted to obtain external labor supply instead of employing the unskilled labor force. The skilled labor force employed consisted mainly of men from the neighboring countries such as Kenya and Tanzania, meaning the unskilled people were to go for other alternatives. This led to little or no income for keeping and educating the children. Increase in poverty means increase in the gender inequality. That is the girl child suffers more than the male child. The more the female child was ignored by the communities.
In addition to that through the international free movement of services and goods from one country to another, Uganda lost a lot of its most educated personnel who left to overseas companies for a better job or better salaries. This brain loss due to the adoption of globalization has cost the country as the intelligent people left instead of educating fellow citizens and especially the women who lag behind the men in education level. The loss of the trained personnel means that the country may not enjoy the presence of resounding economic performance at ease. This means that the untrained personnel are assigned duties which they cannot perform adequately (Hytrek & Zentgraf, 2007).
Globalization in the process of making the world to global village vital for the free movement of good, has led to the rise in crimes, drug and human trafficking which are situation linked mainly to the men. As a result the gap between the poor and the rich is widened in the country as the women cannot engage in some of these jobs. Men continue to get rich and richer as the women wallow in poverty. This shows how globalization if not adequately monitored can be dangerous to the full realization of gender equality in the country (Khan & Riskin, 2009).
Moreover, globalization as it involves the natives mixing with foreigners can absorb some dangerous cultural values such as lesbianism and masturbation which can greatly lead to the death of the wide varied cultural values of the Uganda people. This has led to a wide spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS among the youths. The most vulnerable group to the problem were women and especially in the rural areas. Those working in the town centre contact the diseases and spread them to the rural area. This has led most of the women to opt to stay single in order to avoid contracting the diseases (Salverda et al., 2009).
Gender inequality and low social status of the women have also been ignited by the ion accessibility of micro credit facilities from the financial institution. Just like in Bangladesh, Uganda women are not so much educated. Some have not even stepped at the door of the school hence mentioning about micro loans services is like mocking at them. The government officials have also been mentioned to be so much corrupt such that they end up siphoning the women enterprise fund instead of safeguarding it. This happens amid of the men continuing to fly higher in education, economically and politically. This has led the women in the lake side country lag behind economically and politically. The few educated women either come from the rich family or those bordering the cities. To add on that, the Africans have a perception that an educating girl child is a waste of resources hence this has also been linked to the low status of the women in Uganda. This shows how globalization together with other structural adjustment programs has negatively impacted on the women and how they have contributed to the fall of the women empowerment (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
Gender equality has been envisaged in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as one of the core element for empowering women globally to rank in the same level to men. However, the adoption of globalization by various states globally has scaled down the successful realization of the goal mostly in the developing countries such as Bangladesh and Uganda. In order for the two countries to achieve the dream of gender equality, globalization must be controlled through application of mixed national policies. This will help to curtail some of the globalization impacts like cultural erosion and increase of corruption and drug trafficking.
Secondly, the governments need to promote education for the girl child and ensure those not lucky to join the school do receive micro credit services to start their own business. The government must intervene in the loan issuance process to have the loans awarded to the right people. It is important for the loans to be given to those who are not educated first so that their life can be uplifted (Weber, 2010).
Uganda government can also advance women empowerment by allowing the women fully participate in national and international issues like contesting for political seats. Constitutional reforms and respect for the human rights can also promote women empowerment especially where globalization is at a quick pace. Lastly and not the least, the males must psychologically appreciate the need to have equality for all by ensuring that they support the women in their race to empowerment (Hurrell & Woods, 1999).
Globalization as illustrated above shows it can negatively contribute to the growth of gender inequality especially in the developing countries such as Uganda and Bangladesh. The governments of these countries must adequately understand the need of the women empowerment, and work toward the realization this goal despite the tremendous growth of globalization. It is through the proper government training and micro credit services that the women can be empowered to greater heights. However, regardless of all these demerits, globalization remains to be a vital pivot for any country planning to achieve any progressive growth economically and politically. Note that the two countries used are just the example of the various problem bedeviling developing countries. Most of these problems are similar in all aspects and thus any country can use the above recommended solution to cure various problems arising from globalization. The countries must know that existence of gender equality means that the rights of all type of people have been paid due to the respect and thus this is one of the way issues like drug abuse and human trafficking can be eliminated from the globe (Arnold, 2008).