Feminist Economic Dialogue

Prof. Diane Elson (University of Essex)
and Zofia Lapniewska (NEWW-Polska)

2005-01-24 16:51:40 / News read 2128 reading

The European Chapter of the International Asociation for Feminist Economics - IAFFE-Europe - organized an International Conference on Central and Eastern Europe: A feminist economic dialogue on transition and EU - enlargement in Budapest, January 21-22nd 2005.

NEWW-Polska had it's small contribution to the very well prepared discussions and panels by presenting an ongoing project: Gdansk Gender Budget Initiative. Participants of the session “European Gender Budget Network” enthusiastically welcomed the proposition of joining the existing mailing list maintained by NEWW-Polska.

Presentations were leaded on very high, professional level, as well as discussions. New ideas and inspiring case studies, researches motivated all the participants of the conference organized in such wonderful place as Budapest.

The transition from socialism to a market economy and the subsequent economic developments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) have had considerable impact on the social and economic position of both women and men in these countries. In most cases these developments resulted in greater inequality in the labor market and in greater hardships for women, in part because there has been little if any change in their "family responsibilities." Though the upcoming EU-membership of a number of CEE countries may provide opportunities for more positive changes there, the economic and political processes involved are complex and the impact is difficult to predict.

As a result of its earlier connections with state-socialism, feminism is widely perceived as placing too much emphasis on women's labor force participation at the expense of concern for sharing of care responsibilities. Therefore, while feminist economics has recently made considerable progress in Western Europe, North America, Australia and even South America, this has not been the case in Central and Eastern Europe. Feminist economics traditions from Third World countries, where similar issues about the problem of a purely-market focused feminism have been raised can also provide useful points of contact between feminist economists and women in CEE countries.

The social and economic changes in CEE countries and the likely impact of the EU-Enlargement process are of great interest to feminist economists everywhere. Feminist economics today recognizes the importance of addressing diverse contexts and creating space for a comparative perspective; with attention to both similarities and diversity. The main aims of this conference are to bring the gender aspects of transition and EU-Enlargement to the fore and promote feminist economic discussions before an international forum.

Main themes were

Gender effects of the restructuring of the economy
Examples of possible topics are:

* the impact of the flexibilization of the labor market on women's economic position
* migration and trafficking of women
* changing gender roles in the economy, the labor market and the family
* women as entrepreneurs

Gender effects of political restructuring and EU-Enlargement
Examples of possible topics are:

* the impact on policies related of EU-membership on women's economic position
* gender mainstreaming in national and European policies
* reports on gender budgets and good practices.

Central issues in feminist economics
Examples of possible topics are:

* the use of economic and/or feminist theory in the conceptualization of gender issues
* research and discussions on feminist economic issues in national and international perspective
* theoretical and empirical research on the confluence of gender, race, class and nation, and the state of feminist economics.

A selection of the papers presented at this conference will be published in a Special Issue of the journal Feminist Economics.

Scientific Advisory Committee
Bina Agarwal, IAFFE, New Delhi, India
Dono Abdurazakova, UNDP, Bratislava, Slovakia
Erin Barclay, NEWW, USA
Rosi Braidotti, EUI, Florence, Italy/NOV, Utrecht, Netherlands
Diana Elson, University of Essex, UK
Elena Meshcherkina, Institute of Sociology RAS, Moskow; Russia
John Micklewright, University of Southampton, UK
Pierella Paci, The World Bank, Washington, USA
Ewa Ruminska-Zimny, UNECE, Geneva, Switzerland
Renate Siemienska, University of Warsaw, Poland
Brigitte Young, University of Münster, Germany

Preparatory Committee
Barbara Hopkins (Wright State University, Ohio, USA)
Katalin Koncz (Budapest University of Economic Sciences & Public Administration, Hungary)
Edith Kuiper (Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Ailsa McKay (Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland)

This conference is organized by the European Chapter of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE-Europe) in cooperation with the Women's Studies Centre at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration.

Detailed information together with Abstracts of the papers presented are available on the web page:

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