Globalization creates growth without jobs in the North, structural adjustment in the South, privatization in the East and the dismantling of states everywhere. It is a process which unifies through market integration and new information technologies, yet separates through growing social polarization. It is also a process which depends on the feminization of employment; rather than liberating women into the workplace, globalisation has bred a new underclass of low paid or unpaid women workers.
Demonstrating exactly how women, all over the world, have become the call-girls of the global labour market, the author of this extraordinary book uses a mixture of case studies, examples and quotations to illustrate some hard facts. She looks at women across the world - to show how their lives have been turned upside down by industrialization in the South and a return to homeworking in the North. We meet Martha, 17-year old mother of two in Harlem, who cannot afford medical provision on the salary she has been forced to accept; Margaret, former secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture in Nairobi, now trading in second-hand clothes; Li Thi, a Vietnamese woman who is paid $500 a year for stitching the same running shoes that a top US basketball player is paid $20 million a year to promote.
From New York to Phnom Penh, from Moscow to Dakar, we see the devastating effects of the unfettered power of transnational corporations on women’s lives. This book charts that devastation and calls for urgent action - by states across the world and by women themselves.