Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women

By Eschel M. Rhoodie | Go to book overview

25. General Survey

Between 1950 and 1980 the female population of the world grew from 957 million to 1,251 million, and nearly two-thirds of this growth occurred in Asia. By the year 2,000 the International Labor Organization projects there will be 500 million women workers in Asia. In India alone there will be an additional 50 million workers. 1

According to the International Labor Organization, economically active women in Asia number about 380 million, or more than half the world's economically active female population. Over the past 20 to 25 years, this group of women in Asia has grown more rapidly than the male population. The proportion of women in each of the three major economic sectors has also increased. In most countries in Asia the percentage of women in the total labor force is higher in agriculture than in industry or the services sector. Of all economically active women, more than 82 percent in India, 90 percent in Nepal, 77 percent in China, and more than 73 percent in Thailand are employed in agriculture. The participation of women in the industrial sector is higher only in a small number of countries: Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and India. 2

The International Labor Organization reports that in the industrial sector there has been a significant shift from the earlier patterns of employment. In China the total number of women in the industrial sector has risen from some 31 million in 1978 to nearly 41 million in 1982. Women are in textiles, light industries, educational services and increasingly in heavy industry, electronics and research. 3 At the same time, women's participation in agricultural work continues to be significant quantitatively and qualitatively. 4 In the developing countries of Asia considered as a whole, only 8.3 percent of the female workforce was employed in industry in 1960. By the year 1980, this had risen to 17.5 percent. 5

A major and recent study of women's economic participation in Asia and the Pacific, conducted by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the region, revealed the extremely important role which women now play in the economies of most countries. But the study also revealed that women's work generally has a much lower status than men's; that women are clustered in low-paying jobs; and that they have less education than men and earn less, even with equivalent qualifications. This was true even of the more industrialized, high-income countries. The study proved how diverse social and institutional barriers hamper women's participation in the general workforce as well as in particular trades and occupations. 6

One of the major economic successes in Asia has been the drive for export

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Discrimination Against Women A Global Survey of the Economic, Educational, Social and Political Status of Women
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Part One Introduction 1
  • 1. the Evaluation and Presentation of Data 2
  • 2. the Status of Women: A Global View 13
  • 3. the Environment of Discrimination 34
  • Part Two: Legal and International Aspects 61
  • 4. the International World 62
  • 5. Constitutional and Statutory Differentiation 79
  • Part Three: the African World 99
  • 6. General Survey. 100
  • 7. Case Study: Nigeria 115
  • 8. Case Study: Kenya Introduction 125
  • 9. Case Study: South Africa 136
  • Part Four: the European Community 165
  • 10. General Survey 166
  • 11. Case Study: United Kingdom 191
  • 12. Case Study: France 201
  • 13. Case Study: West Germany 214
  • 14. Case Study: Switzerland 227
  • Part Five: North America 239
  • 15. Case Study: Canada 240
  • Conclusion 247
  • 16 Case Study: The United States 248
  • Part Six: the Communist East Bloc 289
  • 17. General Survey 290
  • 18. Case Study: the Soviet Union 304
  • Part Seven: Latin America 321
  • 19. General Survey 322
  • 20. Brief Case Studies of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Peru 332
  • Part Eight: the Arab-Muslim World 345
  • 21. General Survey 346
  • 22. Case Study: Egypt 363
  • 23. Case Study: Tunisia 369
  • 24. Case Study: Iran 375
  • Part Nine: the Asian World 383
  • 25. General Survey 384
  • 26. Case Study: India 395
  • 27. Case Study: Japan 402
  • 28. Case Study: the People's Republic of China 417
  • Part Ten: Conclusions, Recommendations, Guide to Data, and Research Proposals 431
  • 29. Summary and Conclusions 432
  • 31. Data: Guide to Information Sources 481
  • 32. Research Proposals 505
  • Notes 519
  • Bibliography 587
  • Index 601
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