IAFFE'S PLANS FOR THE BEIJING CONFERENCE
by Janet Seiz

The following is a report on IAFFE's plans for participation in the NGO Forum of the Fourth World Conference on Women, to be held in Beijing in Aug.-Sept. 1995. A full report will appear in the IAFFE Newsletter after the Conference.

The IAFFE Beijing committee, formed in the fall of 1993, includes Bina Agarwal, Lourdes Beneria, Maria Floro, Barbara Hopkins, and Janet Seiz. The committee issued a "Call for Panels" (mailed to all IAFFE members) in January 1994, and ten panel proposals were received and accepted (three of these were later withdrawn by the organizers).

There are now eight proposed IAFFE panels (see descriptions below), with the overall theme "Feminist Economics: Subverting the Mainstream Agenda."

Funding to help with participants' travel and organizing expenses has been received from the Swedish International Development Authority, the MacArthur Foundation, the International Development Research Centre (Canada), and the Ministry of External Affairs of the Netherlands. We are immensely grateful to all these organizations.




INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR FEMINIST ECONOMICS (IAFFE)


PROPOSED PROGRAM FOR THE NGO FORUM, BEIJING, 1995: "FEMINIST ECONOMICS: SUBVERTING THE MAINSTREAM AGENDA"
1. FEMINIST ECONOMIC THEORY AND SOCIAL POLICY: NEW WAYS OF SEEING
2. STRUCTUAL ADJUSTMENT AND ECONOMIC CHANGE: A GENDER PERSPECTIVE
3. PROPERTY RIGHTS AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT
4. GENDER AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS
5. WOMEN, WELFARE AND THE STATE: NORTH-SOUTH PERSPECTIVES
6. ECONOMIC REFORM AND GENDER EQUALITY IN COMMUNIST AND POST-COMMUNIST SOCIETIES
7. NEW TECHNOLOGIES, INDUSTRIALIZATION AND WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT
8. ECONOMIC LITERACY: INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES TO EMPOWER WOMEN




1. "FEMINIST ECONOMIC THEORY AND SOCIAL POLICY: NEW WAYS OF SEEING" (Organizers: Janet Seiz and Bina Agarwal)

Feminist economists have produced substantial critiques of mainstream economics and have begun to develop new theoretical approaches and new analyses of economic institutions and policies, focusing on gender relations and the experiences and interests of women. This panel will discuss these developments, emphasizing the difference feminist approaches can make to our perspectives on the economy and our prescriptions for change. Themes covered will include economic theories of the household, economic development, population and reproductive rights, the environment, and religion, the state, and economic analysis.

Panelists: Bina Agarwal (University of Delhi, India), Radhika Balakrishnan (Wagner College, USA), Diane Elson (Manchester University, UK), Deniz Kandiyoti (SOAS, University of London, UK), and Janet Seiz (Grinnell College, USA).




2. "STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT AND ECONOMIC CHANGE: A GENDER PERSPECTIVE" (Organizer: Lourdes Beneria)

This panel will highlight the importance of a gender perspective in designing, implementing and assessing economic policies in the context of structural adjustment in the South. Panelists will analyze the male bias and other shortcomings of orthodox policy packages; and they will propose ways of making policy formulation more gender-aware by examiningthe links between conceptual models, policymaking, and the needs expressed by women's organizations and other activist channels .

Panelists: Lourdes Beneria (Cornell University, USA), Nilufer Cagatay (University of Utah, USA), Maria Floro (American University, USA), Jean Pyle (University of Massachusetts, USA), and Gale Summerfield (Monmouth College, USA).




3. "PROPERTY RIGHTS AND WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT" (Organizer: Bina Agarwal)

This panel will discuss the links between the gender gap in command over property (especially land) and other aspects of gender inequities in Third World countries. The participants -- each focusing on a particular region -- will identify obstacles to women's ownership and effective control over property, and examine ways in which expanding women's command over property would increase both their economic well-being and their bargaining power in the social and political arenas.

Panelists: Bina Agarwal (University of Delhi, India), Carmen Diana Deere (University of Massachusetts, USA), Athaliah Molokomme (University of Botswana), and Wang Yihuan (Beijing Agricultural University).




4. "GENDER AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS" (Organizer: Martha MacDonald)

Much economic development research and policy ignores the links between gender relations and livelihood security. This panel will discuss efforts to create new methodological tools for gender-sensitive policy formulation for sustainable livelihoods and new research processes linking local communities, researchers, policymakers and practitioners.

Panelists: Ruvimbo Chimedza (University of Zimbabwe), Pat Connelly (St. Mary's University, Canada), Jeanne Illo (Ateneo de Manila University, The Philippines), Martha MacDonald (St. Mary's University, Canada), Jane Parpart (St. Mary's University, Canada), and Rhoda Reddock (University of the West Indies, Trinidad).




5. "WOMEN, WELFARE AND THE STATE: NORTH-SOUTH PERSPECTIVES" (Organizers: Bina Agarwal and Janet Seiz)

The past decade has seen structural adjustment in the South, attacks on the welfare state in the West, and the collapse of communist regimes in East Europe and the former USSR. Associated with these shifts have been declines in state responsibility for poverty alleviation, employment, health care, education, and other services, which have often had extremely adverse effects on women (especially in poor households). This panel will examine the commonalities and differences in women's experiences of these shifts in the North and South, and discuss possible responses.

Panelists: Lourdes Beneria (Cornell University, USA), Nata Duuvry (Centre for Development Studies, India), Nancy Folbre (University of Massachusetts, USA), Ruth Meena (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania), and Maxine Molyneux (University of London, UK).




6. "ECONOMIC REFORM AND GENDER EQUALITY IN COMMUNIST AND POST-COMMUNIST SOCIETIES" (Organizer: Barbara Hopkins)

Economic reform processes in the formerly communist nations of Eastern Europe and the USSR, and in socialist China and Cuba, are having major effects on the lives of women. Marketization is eroding job security, raising the cost of many basic necessities, and forcing cutbacks in government services. There have been associated changes in attitudes regarding women's proper role in society. This panel will seek to establish which elements of reform policies are harming women and which are benefiting them, and examine how women's concerns might be made more central to the policy agendas of countries undergoing reform

Panelists: Lynn Duggan (Michigan State University, USA), Chi Kwan Ho (Hong Kong Polytechnic), Barbara Hopkins (Wright State University, USA), Ruth Pearson (University of East Anglia, UK), and Nayereh Tohidi (Stanford University, USA).




7. "NEW TECHNOLOGIES, INDUSTRIALIZATION AND WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT" (Panel cosponsored with INTECH. Organizer: Swasti Mitter)

This panel will analyze the impacts of economic globalization and technological change on the employment experiences of women in the South, and discuss possible responses.

Panelists: Still to be finalized.




8. "ECONOMIC LITERACY: INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIES TO EMPOWER WOMEN" (Organizer: Marlene Kim, Rutgers University, USA)

This panel will examine grassroots efforts in several countries to build awareness and organize women through "economic literacy," which involves developing analyses of how economic structures influence people's lives and how these structures can be changed to achieve economic justice. Panelists will discuss participatory methods (such as theatre, songs and drawings) for teaching economic ideas to popular audiences and explain how they have used such methods to help organize women around issues such as international trade policies, structural adjustment, and development strategies.

Panelists: Still to be confirmed.