Macro-level economic policies include decisions on tax, government spending, trade, investment and debt policies, and women’s paid and unpaid work - affecting every aspect of women’s lives.
These economic policies are made within the context of the social goals of equality and wellbeing outlined in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The right political choices can ensure that economic policy promotes gender equality and women’s rights. But too often, orthodox economic policy acts as a barrier to progress or even undermines gender equality.
Economic decision-making is a political process in which all people – particularly the most marginalised and those most affected by the decisions – should be empowered to meaningfully participate. The transparency, openness, responsiveness and accountability of the institutions that develop and implement economic policy nationally and internationally should be improved, enabling marginalised women to contribute.
GADN is working with the Bretton Woods Project and FEMNET on the GEM Project. This explores the way in which current macro-level economic policies undermine gender equality and – working with allies globally – encourages decision-makers to promote better alternative policies. The project is funded by the Hewlett Foundation.
There is a danger that, as advocates, we focus too narrowly on our immediate objectives, losing sight of how they support our vision for a more just society. When it comes to macro-level economics, that risk is especially great given the distance between where we are now and where we want to be. The risk is compounded by the way in which we have to shape and constrain our language and arguments in order to be heard by the mainstream.
In this project we try to take the long view. In 2018, GADN and FEMNET created a collaborative space where feminist advocates could step back and consider how our work is contributing to longer-term goals – and whether it is truly transformative.
📷 GADN joins a FEMNET panel at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York (March 2019)