Impact of Globalisation on Women – UPSC GS1

Positive impact:

  • Increased employment opportunities
  • Increased educational investment in girl child by parents due to earning prospects
  • Economic liberalisation served as a catalyst to thrust women into the limelight in India
  • Attracted more companies as well as different organizations into India which provided opportunities for not only working men, but also women
  • Higher education and pay raises self–confidence and brings about independence.  This, in turn, can promote equality between the sexes, something that Indian women have been struggling with their entire lives.
  • Globalization has the power to uproot the traditional treatment towards women to afford them an equal stance in society.
Negative impact:
  • World Trade Organisation regulations have brought about a change in national policies so as to allow the free entry of foreign corporations, to give more incentives to big businesses rather than to small firms, and to lift import controls on agricultural products. This has resulted in further marginalisation of rural and indigenous women.
  • Women do two thirds of the world’s work, receive ten percent of world’s income and own one percent of the means of production. This is the present picture of women workers in the era of globalization.
  • Although the humiliation, harassment and exploitation of women have been commonplace throughout history, such treatment has become more widespread with globalization.
  • Out of the total 397 million workers in India, 123.9 million are women and of these women 96% of female workers are in the unorganized sector. Accordingly, although more women are now seeking paid employment, a vast majority of them obtain only poorly paid, unskilled jobs in the informal sector, without any job security or social security.
  • Health:
    • Additionally working women in India are more likely to be subjected to intense exploitation; they are exposed to more and more risks that cause health hazards and are forced to endure greater levels of physical and mental stress.
    • It is not only in the unorganized sector or in small enterprises, but also in the modern sectors like the Information Technology and the automobile sectors where working women are forced to work for 12 hours while the local governments ignore this open flouting of the labor laws
    • The uncertainties of obtaining work and the dire need to retain a position in the midst of intense competition cause mental tension, strained social relationships, psychological problems and chronic fatigue, all of which are difficult to prove as work-related.
  • Mechanisation: For example, several traditional industries where women work in large numbers like handloom and food processing have undergone changes in the forms of production with the introduction of machines, power looms etc, which have result in the loss of employment for large number of women.
  • Hazards related to the attitude of society and family:
    • Though more and more women seek paid employment, the stereotypical attitude towards women and their perceived role in the familial hierarchy has not undergone much change.
    • Women continue to be perceived as weak, inferior, second-class citizens.
    • For working women, this discrimination is extended to the workplace also.
    • In addition, this perception that they alone are responsible for the domestic work, leads to a feeling of guilt when they are not able to look after the children or family members due to their official work, often resulting in emotional disorders.
  • Sexual harassment in the workplace:
    • One of the evils of the modern society is the sexual harassment female workers endure from their male counterparts and other members of the society.



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