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Negative Effects of Globalization

Globalization has had negative implications for Indian women. Their plights are similar to those of women in other developing regions such as Africa and Asia. Globalization has made many international corporations richer by the billions. However, what most people are not aware of is that women in these developing countries are suffering enormously due to this expansion of corporate empires. According to estimates from World Development Indicators, “Women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half of the world’s food, but earn only ten percent of the world’s income, and own less than one percent of the world’s property (Tomlinson)”. According to Vandana Shivea, and Indian ecofeminist and scholar, globalization along with the support of organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have created slave wages. These wages are not necessarily the result of “unjust” societies, but of the fact that global trade devalues the worth of people’s lives and work (Aujla). While globalization has brought jobs to rural, developing areas such as India where there was previously no employment, these jobs seem to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. The work available to women is almost always poorly paid, mentally and physically unhealthy, demeaning, or insecure. 

Women are suffering two fold. As women in developing countries move into the work force, their domestic responsibilities are not alleviated. Women work two full time jobs. One in a factory, where they are paid next to nothing, the second is in the home where they are paid nothing (Moghadam). According to Merlin A. Taber and Sushma Batra, editors of the book Social Strains of Globalization in India, development for poor women has meant the migration of men to cities, higher prices for commodities, poorer job opportunities. “The mixture of corporate capitalism and Western culture models is dissolving family and community social controls as witnessed by higher rates of family violence, rape, divorce, and family breakdown.”

One example of women’s labor being exploited would be the Noida Export Processing Zone, which is 24 km from New Delhi. These “zones” prefer to hire women because they are “more docile and more productive in men.” In short, they are easier to control and less likely to retaliate against less than ideal working conditions, which are exactly what thousands of women encounter 12 hours a day. The zone is dangerous, hot, and unsanitary. Unnecessary body searches are routine. There are no maternity benefits and minimum wage is never enforced. Women who become pregnant or marry are immediately fired. Overtime is compulsory but women are paid lower rates than men. In order to avoid being fired, women turn to unsafe abortions performed by unqualified “doctors.” In the zone, “respiratory problems, pelvic inflammatory disease, and sever cases of dehydration and anemia are common.” (Rajalakshmi)

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