Gender matters and not just with reference to the welfare of individual women but with reference to the welfare of our economy.
Guest blog by Prof Ailsa McKay, Glasgow Caledonian University, and Women in Scotland’s Economy network (WiSE)
Guest blogger, feminist economist Ailsa McKay argues that constitutional debates need to address the gendered impact of the current economic conditions. And any vision of a new economic policy for a new Scotland needs to place women and gender equality at its heart.
In considering the ‘health’ of the Scottish economy the beginning of the New Year provides us with little cause for celebration. Speculation of a triple dip recession dominates media headlines indicating little hope for recovery in sight. It looks highly likely that 2013 will bring more of the same – more job losses, greater incidences of personal bankruptcy, continued reductions in public spending and the associated contraction in key public services. The future looks grim. In particular the economic outlook is particularly grim for women in Scotland’s economy. Existing evidence tells us that to date women have borne the brunt of austerity measures and thus more of the same paints a very gloomy picture indeed for women and their families across Scotland. In the context of debates focused on the forthcoming referendum, and Scotland’s Constitutional futures, it is crucial that the gender impact of the combination of prolonged periods of low and even negative economic growth and ‘expansionary austerity’ measures is a key feature of those debates. That is, gender matters and not just with reference to the welfare of individual women but with reference to the welfare of our economy. Thus effort is required to to ensure relevant stakeholders are aware of and subsequently account for the relationship between gender equality, or more accurately perhaps gender inequalities, and overall economic performance.
This seminar will bring together politicians, academics, policy makers, trade unionists, representatives from the voluntary sector and community activists for the purpose of exploring issues relating to gender and the economy. Over the course of the two days relevant evidence will be presented relating to women’s position in the economy, the impact of recession and failed recovery packages on the welfare of individual women and their wider communities and how the frameworks employed in informing economic policy and assessing the effectiveness of strategies focused on promoting growth remain gender blind. Drawing on the expert evidence space and opportunity will be provided to ensure maximum public engagement in order to inform debates focused on constitutional futures in ways that adequately and accurately account for women’s voices.
To attend the seminar register at the link below