Globalisation is an economic process at its heart, although it is politically driven. It also has far-reaching cultural and social ramifications, and is supported by rapid technological innovation, especially in information and communications. Broadly speaking, economic globalization is characterized by two trends.
v Structural adjustment
v Trade liberalization
Structural adjustment – In pursuit of neo -liberal economic policies of deregulation and privatization, governments withdraw from interventions that might affect the functioning of free markets, for instance removing subsidies and price controls of food. Government provided services such as health, education and water sectors are privatized or subsidies are reduced or removed. The introduction of primary school fees in developing countries in the 1980s, which has depressed girls’ enrollment, is an example of this trend. Structural adjustment has been the dominant policy agenda in the United Kingdom and the United States of America since the 1980s. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are at best encouraging, and worst coercing, developing countries along the same path, making development aid conditional on their adoption of neo-liberal economic politics.
This involves removal of barriers to international trade, such as tariffs and import quotas, and the prioritization of export production. Some experts argues that the subsequent loss of tariffs and import quotas, and the prioritization of export production. Some experts argues that the subsequent loss of tariff revenue to developing country governments has been partly responsible for their public spending cuts. Trade liberalization started to speed up in 1995, with the creation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). Countries in the global South are being encouraged to follow this route, by a combination of the World Trade Organisation, backed by the European Union and the United States of America and again, the influence of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Courtesy : Women’s Rights, Geraldine Terry, Pluto Press, Oxfax, Palgrave Macmillan, Fernwood Publishing.