Feminist Critique of Economic Systems

  • Illustration by Amy Chianara
    Illustration by Amy Chianara

Feminist economists around the world are continuously highlighting the lack of consideration for social consequences in economic policies. As economic policies’ main goals are associated with monetary growth and accumulation, wellbeing and social justice are often left behind. Therefore, with a capitalist patriarchal economic model, it is essential to deconstruct the economy’s gendered paradigm that embeds hierarchal bias in favor of masculinized productive work in the public sphere and against feminized reproductive work in the private sphere, placing a higher value on the former than the latter.

Despite attempts from governments and the donor community in the MENA region to increase women’s participation in the labour market, which is embodied in the concept of “women’s economic empowerment”, the regional female employment rate of 20% is still the lowest in the world. Questions around whether women’s participation in the labor market has led to the actual empowerment of women in the region are posed. From the spread of informal work and lack of job security to financial conflicts causing an increase in domestic violence and little to no change in care work distributions in the household, the positive effects on women’s realities are debatable. Therefore, Feminist perspectives and critique are now more important than ever in the quest to realign economic systems with social justice.

In collaboration with feminist actors in the region, FES is bringing these concerns to the forefront through various activities, formulating contextualized feminist critique of the economic systems in the MENA region. Through different formats, this critique is being introduced into public discourse, engaging people from different backgrounds in the conversation, looking for transnational commonalities and differences and formulating alternatives to the current socio-economic challenges facing societies in general and women and marginalized groups in particular.

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Publications

Feminist Perspectives on Care Work in the MENA Region

Since the emergence of capitalism, the care work performed by women has been a pillar that holds the world economy up.

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Future of Work

Tackling the issue of work has never been easy and is getting more complex as our world is getting more complicated every day. The factors that...

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Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Department for Middle East and North Africa
FES Berlin
Hiroshimastraße 28
10785 Berlin

info.nahost(at)fes.de

About FES 

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has a network of eleven country offices in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and implements projects in a total of 14 countries. Some offices, such as Egypt or Sudan, look back at a history of more than 40 years of cooperation.

Offices in the Region