The hidden (a)gender of global finance : the relationship between global finance and gender subordination
The purpose of this research project is to explore the extent to which the
globalisation of finance has depended upon and/or contributed to the promotion,
maintenance and reproduction of gender subordination in new and distanciated
forms. Despite tantalising, but rare glimpses of women's involvement within the
financial sector in past centuries, it is postulated that the globalisation of
economic processes, particularly through financial institutions, has a gendered
history. The history has been made invisible through assumptions and
constructions of the 'nature' of women - and men - and their supposed proper
place in the social, economic and political order. Global financial markets have
played a critical role in shaping the structure and dynamics of the global political
and economic order.
This thesis argues that these foundations, which constitute systems of finance
and credit, are based on specific private property forms which historically
involved limiting the access of women to financial security. This thesis shows
that global finance indeed has a gendered and gender-subordinating structure
and sets out how the gendered character in the transition from feudalism to
capitalism, is reflected in women's access to financial resources in diverse
territorial and cultural locations, as a result of the development and expansion of
finance and credit markets within the global political economy.
If indeed global finance and gender subordination is centrally embedded within
the development of global inequalities and social stratification, the consequences
of this for analysing the nature and development of the global political economy
are shown in the thesis to be important, both methodologically and politically.