This title is sourced from the IDS Knowledge Services Open API - http://api.ids.ac.uk.
This briefing explores the relationship between gender inequality and economic diversification in the context of export manufacturing in the developing world, drawing on the work of feminist economists and scholars to identify some of the key drivers of gender inequalities in the sector. Factors discussed include: gender stereotypes deployed to devalue and control; low pay and precarity propelling a cycle of exploitation; the burden of unpaid care as a barrier to decent work; migration, and the risk of exploitation it can bring; and gender-based violence, often used as means of subjugation.
The brief presents new analysis which finds a strong positive association between gender equality and export diversification and quality, meaning that countries with stronger export profiles also seem to be more gender equal. This suggests that developing countries could diversify their economies whilst also achieving higher levels of gender equality. However, historical experience suggests that as countries add value to their manufacturing base and diversify their economies, women often lose jobs in manufacturing, who may then be pushed back into informal work.