Gender and Identity Construction: Women of Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Turkey

By Feride Acar; Ayşe Günes-Ayata | Go to book overview

GENDER AND ECONOMIC REFORMS:
A FRAMEWORK FOR ANALYSIS AND EVIDENCE FROM
CENTRAL ASLA, THE CAUCASUS, AND TURKEY

VALENTINE M. MOGHADAM


Introduction and overview

Since 1990, a now prodigious body of literature has examined and often debated various aspects of the market reforms implemented in the former centrally-planned economies. Questions have centered around the nature of the crisis that precipitated the collapse of the communist system and launched the market transition; the timing, pace, and scope of the reforms; the effect of initial conditions; and the social impacts of the restructuring process. What was the relation between the decline in economic performance in the former communist countries and the global economic crisis? Was the gradual approach to market reforms that was taken by some countries preferable to the “shock therapy” applied in others?1 How can privatization and the emerging private sector be evaluated? Have the reforms been poverty-inducing? Have social indicators deteriorated? What explains differences in levels and rates of unemployment across the transition economies?2 Economists have been deeply divided over these issues.3

A parallel body of literature has focused on the gender aspects of the transition from centrally-planned to market economies,

1 “Shock therapy” involves a sharp cut of budget deficits, liberalization of prices and imports, devaluation of exchange rates, interest rate increases, and tight control of money supply growth.

2 Economies in transition include the countries of East Central Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia of the former Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia), the republics of the former Soviet Union now cooperating within the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. China and Vietnam are the two main Asian transition economies, although geographically speaking the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, belong to the category of Asian transition economies.

3 For a pro-”big bang” perspective, see Sachs 1992. For the gradualist view, see Rana 1993. See also Economic Commission for Europe 1993.

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