Economic Evolution: From Masculine to Feminine Perspectives.

  Oct 31, 2023

The Economic Lens: From Masculine to Feminine Perspectives

Introduction: The Male-Dominated Economics Field

The field of economics has historically been male-centric, from the focus on men's contributions to the male-majority recipients of Nobel Prizes in Economics. This has overshadowed the valuable work and perspectives that women bring to the table.

Breaking Barriers: Women Nobel Laureates in Economics

However, there has been some breakthrough in the form of Nobel Prizes awarded to women economists like Elinor Ostrom, Esther Duflo, and Claudia Goldin.
These women have shifted the narrative by bringing in unique research focuses, from governance in local communities to the economics of gender inequality.

Unveiling the Gender Bias in Economic Measures

The underrepresentation and undervaluation of women extend to how economics measures value. Claudia Goldin's groundbreaking work highlights how women's roles in family care are not factored into economic measures like GDP, thereby perpetuating gender inequality in economic valuation.

Global Shifts: The Future of Work and Its Challenges

The global labor market is undergoing significant changes, transitioning from long-term, industrial jobs to gig economy roles and short-term contracts. This poses a unique challenge, especially for countries like India with burgeoning youth populations and limited opportunities for dignified work.

The Indian Context: Low Human Development and Undervalued Care Work

India faces additional hurdles given its low human development ranking and the lack of financial recognition for caregiving roles, most of which are performed by women in the form of ASHA and anganwadi workers.

India's Vision at the Global Stage

India's Prime Minister calls for a shift in global perspectives through the G-20 platform, advocating for human-centric development beyond GDP measurements. This vision, summed up as "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam," emphasizes the interconnectedness of human life, the environment, and the economy.

The Importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Given that only 12% of SDGs are on track to be achieved by 2030, there's an urgent need to revisit our approaches. This involves solving complex, interconnected problems through localized, community-based solutions rather than a top-down approach.

Time for a Paradigm Shift

Economic thinking needs a paradigm shift. Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom showed that local communities, often led by women, are more effective at managing their resources sustainably. This calls for a move away from competitive, masculine economic models towards more cooperative, feminine perspectives.

The Struggle for Change: Power and Hierarchies

Change is never easy, particularly when it threatens existing power structures. The economic, political, and educational elites have long controlled narratives and policy directions, but it's time for more inclusion of grassroots perspectives and feminine viewpoints in economics and governance.

Conclusion: The Path to Institutional Reforms

To truly realize the vision of "One Family, One Earth, One Future," we must empower women and local communities in shaping policies and institutions. Otherwise, the noble aspirations discussed at platforms like the G-20 will remain unachieved.


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