A reading that you can pair with the "Manos de Mujeres (women's hands)" photo series, based on an academic essay I wrote during my time at LSE.
Does access to paid work increase our chances of achieving gender equality?
The idea that investment in the skills and labor of women is the key to propelling economic growth in the global South – coined as “smart economics” – is critically analysed, framing its utilitarian economics as a depolitisizing myth of female empowerment. Taking the case of domestic labor in Latin America, an intersectional approach shows that increasing women’s participation in the labor force may come as a double-edged sword within a labor market that exerts downward pressure. The promise of economic empowerment may misjudge the maneuvers women can perform within a world characterized by resilient gender bias and structural barriers. Access to paid work may take some of us in the right direction, but it will require stopping at various junctures to question who is being taken and what patterns emerge at intersecting social identities like class, race and gender. Earning in the productive sphere may bring financial benefits, but paid labor is a restricted vehicle for women’s agency; that is, for true choice.
Read the full paper HERE.