The Feminisation of Poverty

Poverty effects women the most – fact.

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The United Nations Millennium Declaration (2000) marked a momentous occasion in the struggle for both gender equality and the eradication of poverty; as a key objective, the UN will look to ‘promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as an effective way to combat poverty, hunger, disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable’.

But what was so special about, yet another, UN objective? This particular goal represented a global consensus on the long-standing link between women and poverty. What was once seen as a here-say common conception suddenly had real, political, weight seen as an undeniable reality.

Why was this so important to establish?

In this context, the ‘feminisation of poverty’ refers specifically to the notion of women experiencing poverty at a disproportionally high rate in comparison to male counterparts (Abbate, 2010). The prevalence of women below the poverty line is no coincidence, nor is it just an issue just for the women themselves; it must be distinguished in order for it to be addressed and to avoid further perpetuation.

What factors can we hold accountable for such failings?

Although they are not exhaustive, three alternate reasonings have been given prominence in political-literature as to why feminisation is so apparent in poverty (Moghadam, 2005):

Firstly, the continued existence of intra-household inequalities and systematic bias against women and girls. The unequal access opportunities for healthcare, education and nutrition all negatively impact the potential employment and income-generating ability of women; this coupled with the continuing systemic discrimination in households and existing patriarchal structures paint a bleak picture. Continuation exacerbates vulnerability and undoubtedly contributes to the feminisation of poverty (O’Brien & Williams, 2016).

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The increase in female-headed families is another long-term cause of poverty. In Western states divorce has become the norm which leaves many women as the sole-provider of the household with no second supplementary-income as in nuclear families. In less-economically developed countries families have this life forced upon them due to conflict or other external factors. The importance of stable family structure on future development of children is widely acknowledged as detrimental. Not only does poverty take place most often in these families but the likelihood remains that cycles will continue to rotate as a result.

A considerable amount of research has also taken place focussing on the negative impacts of Neoliberal economic policy. Nagar et al (2002), for example, discussed the way in which the burdens of restructuring policies were bourn by women as a result of their reliance upon unpaid labour. The movement of globalisation has also been mentioned to have adverse effects due to its failure to account for women’s role (Library Index, 2017).

What changes can be made?

At ground-level we, as human-beings, must do our upmost in order to give substance to women’s right for self-fulfilment and determination (Marchand, 2003). In any way that we can we must enable women the genuine opportunities to engage fully in economic and social life without the burden of expectation or presumption.

More importantly, governments must re-think both implemented policies and current-standing institutions in order to value women in all contexts. Buvinic (1998), for example, recommends multiple ways in which progress can be made including: expanding substantially the access of poor women to family-planning and reproductive health services, adopting education reform agendas, building incentives for the private sector to expand women’s access and many more. States simply must take action.

What impact does this have on deeply engrained assumptions on gender?

Fast forward seventeen years from the UN’s 2000 Declaration and one still observes the same issues at hand. Despite historical gains for women in terms of more formal equality (right to be educated, to vote and to own property) there has been a distinct lack of progress towards substantive equality for women (Galloway, 2014).

The older generation are not alone and are also not the last in experiencing feminised poverty. Continuous exposure to such atrocity confines women to second-class status, denying them progressive liberty and perpetuating the standard stereotypes/assumptions made of them.

How can we ever hope to eradicate sexism, let alone poverty, if we are unable to make progress with policy?


Written by Paul Hudson (M00611200)

International Politics, Economics and Law student at Middlesex University.



Abbate, L. (2010). Feminized Poverty Worldwide. Available: Last accessed 25th Nov 2017.

Buvinic, M. (1998). Women in Poverty: A New Global Underclass.Available: Last accessed 1st Dec 2017.

Galloway, K. (2014). Ending feminised poverty. Available: Last accessed 29th Nov 2017

Library Index. (2017). Women and Children in Poverty – The Feminization Of Poverty. Available: Last accessed 5th Dec 2017.

Marchand, M. (2003). ‘Challenging Globalisation: Feminism and Resistance’, Review of International Studies 29 (3). 145-60.

Moghadam, V. M. (2005) ‘The Feminisation of Poverty’ and Women’s Humar Rights, SHS Papers in Women’s Studies / Gender Research 2 (Paris: UNESCO).

Nagar, R et al. (2002). ‘Locating Globalization: Feminist (Re)Readings of the Subject and Spaces of Globalization‘, Economic Geography, 78(3): 57-84

O’Brien, R & Williams, M. (2016). Gender. Global Political Economy: Evolution and Dynamics. 5th ed. London: Palgrave. 210-216.

United Nations. (2000). United Nations Millennium Declaration. Available: Last accessed 25th Nov 2017.


They want WAR: The truth behind conflict

*Please note in the film’s promotional poster it states “Based on a true story”*

Not long ago, on a Friday night, I scrolled through the comedy genre of movies on my laptop and came across ‘War Dogs’. Instantly, it drew my attention. I hastened to watch the trailer and it seemed like a very entertaining movie. It was – until I realised what I had just watched. I watched a comedic version of our reality. In the movie, two young friends in their twenties living by Miami Beach during the Iraq war are becoming international arms dealers for some extra cash.  They go on crazy adventures and the movie overall was very exciting. But it also showed us the dark side of the arms industry. Deaths, destruction and devastation – It meant nothing to the arms dealers. The boys got the opportunity for one of the deals to sell weapons to the US government that they would use to kill and would make the friends 300 million dollars.  300 MILLION DOLLARS.

Sometimes we sit and think to ourselves, considering the fact that tax payers money that you and I pay subsidises the arms industry (YouGov, 2014) –  ‘why are there still wars and bloody conflicts and how does war benefit anybody?’ It’s not always disputes between a few nations that lead to a very long lasting war. There are many different reasons why wars happen. It could be anything from the fight for oil, religious based wars, ‘humanitarian intervention’ occupations and invasions etc. Globally, views on why we have war and what causes it differ. We have fascists, who always advocate for war and think it is a virtuous activity. We also have what’s known as pacifism, which is a position some religious or green parties maintain and believe war is never justified. Realists, Pluralist Liberals and Marxists believe that war can sometimes be justified. Overall, opinions vary greatly. But the sickening part is when killing people is justified with the fact that the arms industry prospers including businesses and even governments benefit financially from causing deaths and demolition.

The importance of the arms industry and arms companies goes as far as them being able to impact security and defence policies (Calvo Rufanges, 2015). There have been many occasions whereby the pronounced British foreign policy was completely different to the actual practice and the actions the British government was taking. For instance, the arms company in the 1990’s by the name of ‘Matrix Churchill’, a Coventry based engineering firm. Following the Kuwait war, this firm was selling military hardware to the Iraqi government. However, at that time there was a boycott on selling to the Iraqi government. This led to the firm being taken to court and what became apparent was that members of and directors of the firm were themselves in the pay of British intelligence services (Phythian and Little, 1993). This shows that there is a real lack of cognisance on British current foreign policy and arms deals in general by the public. The neoliberal era has shown that nothing is too valuable to sacrifice at the crucible of short term accumulation of capital and the march of industry is considered to be far more important than anything else (Hall, Massey and Rustin, 2015).

A contemporary debate regarding the issue of the arms industry is the UK selling arms to Saudi Arabia. The same weapons the UK sells to the barbaric kingdom of Saudi Arabia are being used in an inhumane war crime against Yemen. We are selling them weapons to, [according to the prime minister], have even more influence on human rights and to boost ties (Independent 2017)  – but like many cases in the past, this is just another method of gaining profits.

This film reminded me about our reality and how a neoliberal system prefers profits over everything even if it costs us lives. A film that was supposed to be enjoyable and take my mind of the filth, greed and deaths in the world only saddened me more. Next time, I might consider watching a movie that is not ‘based on a true story’.


Noor Fekri


Calvo Rufanges, J. (2015). The Arms Industry Lobby in Europe. American Behavioral Scientist, 60(3), pp.305-320.
PHYTHIAN, M. and LITTLE, W. (1993). Parliament and Arms Sales: Lessons of the Matrix Churchill Affair. Parliamentary Affairs, 46(3), pp.293-308.
(YouGov, 2014)
(Independent, 2017)
Hall, S., Massey, D. and Rustin, M. (2015). After Neoliberalism?. London: Lawrence and Wishart Ltd.

Effects of Migration on Development

Effects of Migration on Development

One issue currently at the centre of disagreement between developed receiving countries and sending developing countries is migration (Sharma, 2012). According to a United Nation’s report in 2016, there are gains in migration such as accumulation of human capital, growth and investment, economic opportunities, among others for both home and host countries if managed properly. The former UN Secretary-General, Ban Kin-Moon said in 2015 said that there are also many complex challenges such as brain drain, human rights issue, labour shortages, unemployment, multiculturalism and integration, terrorism, coupled with asylum seekers and flow of refugees. A data by the Migration Policy Institute, in 2015 and again in 2016 indicates, 1 million people applied for asylum in Europe (MPI, 2016). In specific reference to Africa, young migrants cross the Mediterranean facing hard conditions in search of better lives and opportunities which affect the global political economy (Mins-Harris, n.d.).

The aim of this piece of writing is to examine some of the impact young migrants can have on development. The first part will focus labour shortages on development occurs if there is young migration. The second part will look at brain drain of skilled workers on growth and development. The last part will conclude and recommend on how best to mitigate such exoduses.

According to the former UN Secretary-General Ban Kin-Moon, young people forms 10% of the 214 million of migrants and with the over 200 million youth, Africa is predicted to have halve of this figure by 2040 migrating. Labour as a factor of production is a backbone of every economy and lack of it will impact development. Meanwhile unemployment in many Sub-Saharan Africa countries cause the youth to migrate.

The picture above shows trends in migration in Sub-Saharan Africa indicating the millions of people who a bigger number to the rest of the world. and the rest of the world. According to (per a report self-respect within their families and communities as to these young people, migration serves to improve upon their livelihood. The Oxford Review of Economic Policy indicates the number of individuals over 80 years is projected to rise from 1% to 4% by 2050 due to declining fertility rate among other factors of which Africa is no exception (Oxford Academic 2010).

The table above shows that as migration in OECD countries and the rest of the world falls, in Sub-Saharan Africa, it is on the rise instead. As the working age who typically feed the economy, a rise in youth migration will cause shortage of labour which under normal economic terms will cause wages to rise. This will lead to high inflation because (Economichelp 2016). It is predicted by the Oxford Review Economic Policy 2016 that between now and 2040, the proportion of individuals over 80 or more is expected to rise.
Also, high skilled workers with young brains impact the development of every country. Therefore, brain drain affects the home country and such is one of the problems when the youth from Africa migrate leaving behind mainly unskilled labour. An example is South Africa that has to receive Zambian and Cuban doctors as its own health professionals have left for United Kingdom (AAPAM, 2005). According to Berbelogou 2002, the nature of work and labour process impacts the global economy. Therefore, labour shortages will cause development to slow down as demand will outstrip supply.
In conclusion, youth migration presents myriad advantages and disadvantages to home and host countries. On the other hand, labour shortages and brain drain of skilled workers impact on the development of the sourcing country when young adults migrate. Therefore, youth employment and restiveness, technological advancement, proper educational systems should be tackled as failure of such, will impact the development of Africa.

African Association for Public Administration and Management (AAPAM), (2005), ‘Harnessing The Partnership of the Public and Non-State Sectors for Sustainable Development and Good Governance in Africa’ , Zambia, December, 5th -9th
Available @: Accessed: 10.11.2017.
Berbelogou B., (2002), Labour and Capital in the Age of Globalisation: The Labour Process and the Changing Nature of Work in the Global Economy, Rowman and Littlefield, Oxford.
Bloom E. D, Canning David and Fink Gunther (2010), Implications of Population Ageing for Economic Growth, Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 26, Issue 4, 1 December 2010, Pp.583-592,
Driessen H., ‘The New Immigration and the Transformation of European-African Frontier’, n.d. Cambridge University Press, UK, Google Scholar
Katseli T. Louka (2006), Effects of Migration on Sending Countries: What Do We Know? Italy: OECD Development Centre, Available @: Accessed: 06.11.2017
Migration Policy Institute (2016), Moving Europe Beyond Crisis, Washington DC, Available: Accessed: 11.12.2017
Min-Harris C., (n.d.), Youth Migration and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: Empowering the Rural Youth
Pettinger T., (2016), Labour Market and Society, July 20 Available @, Accessed: 11.12.2017
Sharma R, Teachers on the Move (2012), Volume 17, Pp. 262-283 Available @ Accessed: 01.12.2017
UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2013), International Youth Day: Focus on Rights and Potential of Young Migrants, New York, USA.
United Nations (2013), International Youth: Focus on Rights and Potential of Youth Migrants, New York, USA. Available @: Accessed: 10.12.2017

Beatrice Adutwim

The Hardest WORK in the World is being out of WORK ‘‘Graduates with BA Degree in 5 years, unemployed since 10 years.’

Unemployment is the number of people who that do not have a job, and this is a major issue across the globe, both developed and developing countries. It’s too difficult to understand high unemployment rates in developed countries that have a high GDP, for example, in 2016, Spain was ranked 14th on GDP scale, and its unemployment rate was 17%. Today, it remains the same (, 2017).

The youth possess degrees, but do not have jobs. This is why today we see high rates of homeless people around developed countries, such as in the United Kingdom, where approximately more than 150,000 young people, every year, end up in the streets seeking jobs for many years (Centrepoint, 2017).

The most important disadvantage is that unemployed youth may be discouraged from searching for a job, eventually they end up losing hope, and that in turn pushes them into poverty and crimes such as the; drug dealing, joining terrorist groups, smuggling, murder, and kidnapping etc.

In addition, youth involvement helps drive positive social change, including structures, policies and procedures that are demand-driven to address the health needs of their communities and countries, now and in the future of the country. Unfortunately today we see a massive population of youth who are unemployed. According to The International Labour Organisation (2017) there are approximately more than 75 million young people between ages of 18-25 years old looking for jobs around the world.

On the other hand, in 2015, in the European Union consisted of 5.2 million unemployed people. One in four young people are without a job. But the number rose to more than 50 percent in countries such as Spain and Greece (The scandal of youth unemployment: The choice of a new generation, 2014).

If these people can get hired, they will make massive positive changes in society, because they are well educated.

unemployment 1(Ackaah-Kwarteng, 2016)

The reasons for high unemployment rate are mainly down to the government. In most developed countries the government does not provide the average person with opportunities to find a job, unless this person has high qualifications. If an individual with low standard level of qualification, he/she is excluded in the employment market.

The education system, especially the public system schools and universities are run by government. In that case, the schools should have a service in place that teaches students how to get employed. Additionally, opportunities should be provided to the students to find a job they desire.

Another reason for high unemployment would be down to the economy state of the country. If a country has low consumers in the market, people are going to lose their jobs due to redundancy, and that raises unemployment rates.  In combination if a country has high unemployment rates, coupled with low GDP that will mean that the education system is heavily relied upon.  So that will mean education system and employment rates go hand in hand, if one is good the other one is good (Chen, 2014).

unemployment(CNN, 2017)



Ackaah-Kwarteng, K. (2016). unemployed. [image] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

Centrepoint. (2017). The Issue of youth homelessness in the UK. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

CNN (2017). [image] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2017].

F., J. (2017). Cite a Website – Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017]. (2017). World GDP Ranking 2016 – [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Dec. 2017].

The scandal of youth unemployment: The choice of a new generation. (2014). Directed by B. Maguire. Euranet Plus.

Chen, M. (2014). Who’s Really To Blame for Unemployment?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Dec. 2017].

Ramazan Dostum  M00558107  Dubai-Campus


The Impact of Automation on Jobs – Should you be worried?

robot_overlordsWe are being afflicted with a new disease of which some readers may not have heard the name, but of which they will hear a great deal in the years to come – namely, technological unemployment” (Keynes, 1930) This was said by Keynes in 1930. Loss of jobs due to automation is not a new phenomenom, it has been happening since the Industrial Revolution, however nowadays we are experiencing a whole new level of technological advances. While in the past machines could only replace manual labor, now scientists are able to create machines with intellectual abilities, that are rapidly taking over jobs which were never thought to be at risk of technological unemployment.
The International Federation of Robotics found that there are about 1.75 million robots in use, as of 2015, growing to 4 to 6 million by 2025 (Acemoglu, Restrepo, 2017). Intelligent robots are being used in many different professions.
There are automated hotel receptionists that can talk different languages and check people in; robots can decrease tension through a heart monitor; tablets are being used instead of waiters in restaurants; machines replace decision-making in stock exchanges; augmented reality helps to train the military; medical devices can record and transmit vital signs, and some can also intervene directly by injecting a medicine based on the data obtained; 3D printing makes a copy of any object through specifications which can be just emailed, eliminating the need of transportation; autonomous vehicles and drones are rapidly decreasing the need of drivers. (West, 2015) This century has seen the creation of smart social robots, such as pets and humanoids, like Sophie, a robot who was recently granted the citizenship of Saudi Arabia (Griffin, 21017)
Not even careers that require a high level of education like legal professions are exempt from automation. Dr Paresh Kathrani, expert in law and artificial intelligence, participated in a conference at Middlesex University and said that he foresees the law professions will be completely changed and reduced. There are new machines that are able to find all case law and legislation necessary in less than 2 minutes, a task that takes days to a human; others which can predict the chances of success of a specific case. Soon, he says, there will be robots able to function as lawyers, barristers and even judges. Not everyone at the conference agreed to his view, saying that in this case, either people would not want to be judged by a robot, or that technology will never be so advanced to allow a machine to be an efficient judge.
What does this mean for future employment? A research by Berriman and Hawksworth predicts that around 30% of UK jobs are at risk of being automated by 2030. The sectors in danger are transportation and storage, with 1 million jobs at risk; manufacturing with 1.2 million; wholesale and retail is the most at risk, with a potential 2.3 million jobs expected to be lost to machines. One of the main reasons technology will have a great impact on these jobs is that they don’t require workers with a high level of education, as they often deal with manual or repetitive tasks and therefore, easily automatable. By contrast, the health and social work sector, which requires employees with high education, has only 0.7 million jobs at risk. (Berriman, Hawksworth, 2017)
The risk of automation depends on the industrial composition of the country. Service-dominated states such as the UK, US and Germany have similar risk percentages. A curious exception is Japan, which only has 21% of its jobs at risk of automation. The research suggests that this is because less educated workers such as retail employees spend more time on management tasks than manual and get trained at work, becoming less automatable. (Berriman, Hawksworth, 2017)
Does this mean that we are in the verge of a new era in which robots are taking over labour? The expected job losses are uncertain and might not actually happen. There are some factors which cannot be predicted just now, such as economic constraints. For example, if the cost of the machines becomes too high for firms, they will continue to hire human labour. Also, new legislation might be introduced to regulate the job losses. The best argument given by people who don’t believe automation will have a major impact on employment, is that new jobs will be created. The issue here is whether there will be enough new jobs to compensate the lost ones. The research by Berriman and Hawksworth estimated that 6% of jobs in the UK in 2013 did not exist in 1990. This percentage needs to raise significantly balance with the expected job loss. The authors’ theory is that increased productivity due to technology will generate higher incomes that will be invested and will generate demand that will, in turn, create jobs. (Berriman, Hawksworth, 2017)
Advances in technology have brought high economic growth to the countries which invest in research and automation, so they shouldn’t be seen as a disease, as suggested by Keynes. The future impact on jobs is hard to predict for sure, but it is clear that states need to make sure the workforce is enabled to acquire skills to compete with intelligent machines, and provide for the unemployed, only then can automation bring a positive change.
Elena De Nardo, M00536055

John Maynard Keynes, 1963 “Essays in Persuasion”, New York: W. W. Norton & Co.
Daron Acemoglu, Pascual Restrepo, 2017 “Robots and Jobs: evidence from US labor markets” National Bureau of Economic Research
Andrew griffin, october 2017 “Saudi Arabia grants citizenship to a robot for the first time ever” Independent, available at:
Darrell West 2015 “What happens if robots take the jos? The impact of emerging technologies on employment and public policy” Center for technology innovation, Brookings
Paresh Kathrani, at the conference “The future of law” at Middlesex university, on the 24th of October.
Richard Berriman, John Hawksworth 2017 “Will robots steal our jobs? The potential impact of automation on the UK and other major economies” UK Economic Outlook

Recession – How has the world economy been behaving since the 2008 crisis? Sulema Cabral (M00579784)


A notable trend since the 2008’ financial crisis has been on the public concerns, which consists on citizens being sceptical about the implementation of power being allocated to large institutions. The thoughts were that the risk assumed by those could instead jeopardize the stability of the financial system on a large scale. The month of August this year, has just marked the tenth anniversary of the onset of the global financial crisis. The crisis began with a succession of bankruptcies of financial institutions in the United States and Europe, leading to the worst global recession in decades, and years of slow growth and painful economic recession.
Back in the 1970’s, the end of the Union Soviet Socialist Republics showed the world the defeat of centralizing governments, which eventually gave way to the liberal, political and economic theories that were created from the illuminist thought of the industrial revolution made in the 18th century. In the research of an effective solution for the economic crisis that affected the world in 1973 caused by the explosive growth in the price of oil, Neoliberalism emerges as the key factor to solve this problem. Hence, it defended a set of policies that contributed for the accumulation of wealth and profit being held for only fewer hands, arguing that it would promote investment and in that way increase employment and rise prosperity for all in society. The new right argued that competition and selfishness should be the new policy adopted by society to bring benefits to all in general (Sheil 2000, 26), therefore the neoliberal ideologies were quickly embraced by big companies because they provided a legitimation for their pursuit of self-interest and avenues for business expansion (Beder 2006a, 151). Neoliberalism advocates the replacement of government functions and services with privatization, deregulation of labor and financial markets, smaller government through reduced taxes, spending and regulation and the deregulation of business activities with the purpose of promoting economic growth and defending public interest.
Fundamentally, Neoliberalism values market forces, promotes consumer society and stimulates economic competition on a global scale. It is strongly related to globalization, trough the economic and financial impositions of the rich countries to the most indebted countries, the adjustment of foreign trade and the suppression of financial imbalances. In this sense, Neoliberalism can be defined as a set of capitalist, political and economic ideas that defend the state’s non-intervention in the economy to achieve the settlement of debts, and consequently crisis. According to the neoliberal doctrine, there must always be free market, the ideology that defends total freedom of trade, as neoliberals believe this principle guarantees the economic growth and social development of a country. With all its aims and strong principles, Neoliberalism was hoped to bring solutions to poverty, however it seemed not to work as expected.

Criticism of Neoliberalism

As neoliberal policies were getting spread out around the world, disparities in wealth and income started to increase, followed by poverty. These, contradicted neoliberal theories that by increasing the wealth at the top, the society as a whole would benefit. At such point, the policies suggested by Neoliberalism started facing unexpected results. The critiques to the system claim that the neoliberal economy only benefits the major economic powers and multinational corporations. The generation of economic dependence on the poorest countries against the more developed ones becomes gradually more inevitable, and disparities in the world only became larger and more difficult to overcome. Human development models, therefore are not compatible with for example Africa, Latin America or Asia, as it has aggravated the underdevelopment and scarcity of these regions and that is why Neoliberalism is often referred as ‘Neo-colonialism’. In these countries, low wages, unemployment, the increase of social differences and dependence on international capital are pointed out as causes of neoliberalism. Neoliberalism appears to have given priority to economic goals over social goals, destroying socially beneficial traditions and desirable aspects of cultures in the process (Stilwell 1993, 36). In this range of events caused by the negative impact of Neoliberalism, it becomes perfectly clear that financial markets provide opportunities for investment without creating jobs, and that inequalities resulted by those policies, only reduced consumer demand, which in turn had to be incited by consumer credit and mortgage debt. Privatization, free trade and financial deregulation promoted by Neoliberalism, allowed financial institutions to dictate government policy, preventing it from participate in economic matters. Significantly, this has also contributed for the stagnation of economy. Deregulation was equally responsible, when it allowed the channelling of wealth into speculative investments that only made worse the volatility of share and housing markets. The conjunction of both, household debt and unregulated speculative investment then ended up in the collapse of mortgage market and share markets on a global level. It asserted that the wealth of a nation would ‘trickle down’ to the poor as it gets wealthier, since it was invested to create jobs, ending up being a failure.







Due to Neoliberalism, the deregulated system created, pretty much tended to take on more and more risk during periods of economic stability, and consequently become highly fragile leading to more frequent and aggravating financial crisis and eventually to a Great Recession. Despite those issues, the inequalities risen up by the new rights started to cause major impacts that also contributed to a more unbalanced economy on a global level. The neoliberalist ideology has done more for the capitalist than to the less privileged, where rich became richer and poor even poorer. According to Oxfam, the world’s richest 1% has now as much wealth as the rest of the 99% combined. This is a remarkable concentration of wealth that is definitely not well distributed. “The world has become a much more unequal place and the trend is accelerating”, Winnie Byanima, Oxfam International’s executive director.

Figures show that instead of an economy that works for the prosperity of all in general, for future generations and for the world, they have instead created an economy for the 1% wealthiest. It is important to implement measures to reduce the inequality, with major urgency. “We cannot continue to allow hundreds of millions of people to go hungry while resources that could be used to help them are sucked up by those at the top”, Byanima. Oxfam calls for governments to take action on lobbying, reducing the price of medicines, taxing wealth rather than consumption and using progressive public spending to tackle inequality. “What we should care about is the welfare of the poor not the wealth of the rich”, Adam Smith. As mentioned before, things seemed not to be taking the right way. With this plethora of bad news, it is not surprising that many are ready to condemn the main elements of neoliberalism to the scrapheap.


BBC News. (2017). Wealth of top 1% ‘equal to other 99%’.  Available at:

euronews. (2017). The richest 1% own more than 99% of world’s population.  Available at:

Metcalf, S. (2017). Neoliberalism: the idea that swallowed the world. The Guardian. Available at: (2017) Available at:

























Women’s (subordinate) role in the modern global economy

The end of Communism witnessed the ever-growing necessity for capital and finances, to keep up with globalisation and soaring rates for produce and housing. This precedented an advance in employment roles which were either exclusive of women, subjugative of women or which forced women into unhealthy working environments. The IAPSS website explains “Globalization is tied to momentous political changes of the present era such as the rise of identity politics” (Butale, 2015). Representing nearly 50% of the population, women’s identity is one of the most crucial to understanding and improving our current political and economic landscape. The disparity between men and women detriments not only women themselves, but the economy, society and general global prosperity. Furthermore, not only is poverty “both a cause and a consequence of inequality” (McBain, 2014), it is also reported that “gender inequality is costing the global economy trillions of dollars per year” (McBain, 2014).

Inequality for women affects both developed and non-developed countries, with an article written stating “there is no country in the world where women have equal economic and political power to men” (McBain, 2014). Since the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, women’s rights have had more focus as has their necessity in the global economy. Whereas women were once not regarded at all, today women are given more influence yet under the guise of “equal” rights. It is reported that “Almost 90 per cent of 143 economies studied have at least one legal difference restricting women’s economic opportunities” (UN Women, 2017), therefore, “non-discriminatory and gender-sensitive laws are the first step to challenge discriminatory social institutions” (Ferant and Kolev, 2016). In more advanced societies, whilst it can be argued that both men and women contribute to the job industry, the dominance of males in the workplace is clear still today and the disparity remains, with estimates being “that globally women’s earnings are 77 per cent of that of men” (O’Brien and Williams, n.d. p.205), with the IMF stating “Women earn less and are less economically productive than men almost everywhere across the world.” (Revenga and Shetty, 2012) The “IMF also estimates that 853m women worldwide have the potential to contribute more to their economies” (McBain, 2014).

Worryingly, the exploitation of women in numerous job industries – which often aids a country’s economy – remains a deadly factor. Globally, the increase in vulnerable women has multiplied astronomically. Marxist-Feminists would be the first to argue that there is a direct link between the rise of capitalism and globalism and the way in which women are subject to its pitfalls.  A report by (Butale, 2015) explains “Marxist feminism makes a causal connection between capitalism and the subordination of women. They contend that women are an exploited class in the capitalist mode of production” (Butale, 2015). Whilst women suffer both in developed and developing nations, the frequency in which women migrating to other countries in order to keep up with the demands of capitalism are targeted, is a great matter for concern and “migrant women from developing countries are increasingly victims of trafficking, for the purpose of sexual exploitation” (Butale, 2015).

Beijing intended a monumental implementation of factors to accomplish female inclusion and equality, yet since, the sex trafficking industry has alone seen a massive influx in workers where women simply are forced into finding any way to keep up with the demanding expenses that have pressured them since the progression of globalisation. A report for a Workshop organized by the Division for the Advancement of Women, on behalf of the United Nations, further explains the “alarming increase in international trafficking” that “women and girls [are] much more be human cargo and ending up in intolerable forms of employment, including forced prostitution, exploitative and abusive domestic service and manufacturing production under slavery like conditions” (Lim, 1999). Women have been forced to find “alternative circuits of survival” to earn a living to be able to live, and “globalization to date has done too little to minimize gender inequalities” (Lim, 1999). These methods sought by women, “include prostitution, labor migration [and] illegal trafficking” (Roberts, 2008).

This current era was coined by Pettman as the “international political economy of sex” (O’Brien and Williams, n.d. p.212), where women’s bodies are “tradable commodities” (O’Brien and Williams, n.d. p.212). This is referred to as the “feminization of survival” as these means of creating income “are dependent on women” and are a necessary, and often only, choice for some women (Roberts, 2008). These not only contribute to the woman’s livelihood, but also government revenue, which demonstrates that governments are profiting from gender inequality, and in effect profiting from the vulnerable and dangerous situations women find themselves in, due to the disparity between genders in the modern global economy (Roberts, 2008). The sex industry “is estimated to be worth billions of dollars per annum”, and often, “this trade is based on implicit (and at times explicit) male violence” (O’Brien and Williams, n.d. p. 212.). Whilst governments may profit from certain industries that inhibit women and force them into dangerous situations, “it is calculated that women could increase their income globally by up to 76 per cent if the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed. This is calculated to have a global value of USD 17 trillion” (UN Women, 2017).

The UN Women organisation states “when more women work, economies grow” (UN Women, 2017). “The evidence is increasingly in that empowering women empowers humanity” (UN Women | The Beijing Platform for Action Turns 20, 2015), so why are women still suffering in order to support themselves and their families, in negative or inhumane forms of employment? Why are women still a subordinate class on a global scale? Why are men still hierarchically superior to women? The question remains as to why there is still a dichotomy between genders, particularly when regarding the benefits that would be reaped to truly create equality, and as a consequence an increase in each nation’s, and the global economy.



Leila Lerari – M00559185 – Middlesex Campus


Butale, C. (2015). Globalization and its impact on women in developing countries | International Association for Political Science Students. [online] International Association for Political Science Students. Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


Ferant, G. and Kolev, A. (2016). The economic cost of gender-based discrimination in social institutions. [ebook] OECD Development Centre. Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


Lim, L. (1999). Women and the Global Economy. [online] Beirut, Lebanon: Gender Promotion Programme International Labour Office, Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) United Nations. Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


McBain, S. (2014). Gender inequality is costing the global economy trillions of dollars a year. [online] Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


O’Brien, R. and Williams, M. (n.d.). Global political economy. 5th ed. Palgrave Macmillan, p.205. & p.212.


Revenga, A. and Shetty, S. (2012). Empowering Women Is Smart Economics. FINANCE & DEVELOPMENT, March 2012, Vol. 49, No. 1. [online] International Monetary Fund – IMF. Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


Roberts, A. (2008). Review: Women and Work in the New Global Political Economy. International Studies Review, [online] 10(3), pp.622-625. Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


UN Women. (2017). Facts and Figures: Economic Empowerment. [online] Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


UN Women | The Beijing Platform for Action Turns 20. (2015). The Beijing Platform for Action: inspiration then and now. [online] Available at: [Accessed Dec. 2017].


Uncanny Valley: Where are the machines taking us?

With the steep increase in technological advancement over the past few decades, you may be forgiven for thinking that the worries surrounding technological advancements, specifically the unemployment it can cause, is a fairly new concern. However, the automation discussion is over 2 centuries old; which is still fairly new considering we’ve been around for over 200,000 years.

Now when I say “worries surrounding technological advancements”, I’m not talking about the robots you see the extremely mediocre and overrated actor, Will Smith battling on the television. I’m talking about automation, or as some refer to it, labour saving devices.

Since the sharp increase in technological advances began, day by day we have made new discoveries which have contributed to automation. Right now as you read this there are teams of great minds and billions of pounds’ worth of investment in trying to propose and invent more efficient and productive ways of producing goods, and this is almost entirely focused on automation. The discussion therefore has intensified rapidly, with fears that we are closer to dooms day – the day in when jobs disappear wholesale, unemployment skyrockets and society will find itself in a spiral of decline due to the poverty caused by mass unemployment.

To use a term from the tech world which describes the creepiness of robots as they start to look more like humans, we find ourselves in a sort of “uncanny valley”. A time when the more robots we see doing jobs that have been done by humans, then the more freaked out by them we get, and the more we associate a negative emotion around them. Partially this may be down to the fact that by now we all know that those machines are replacing a worker, and who really is in favour of unemployment after all? Not even the evil republicans depicted in the Simpsons are in favour of unemployment. And its likely that we will remain in this uncanny valley for as long as there is still an uncertainty of where automation will take us.

Well, how far are we from seeing dooms day? We can’t know for sure. Both the optimistic and the pessimistic positions are reasonable ones to hold. Although its getting ever more difficult to not be concerned about jobs being lost to automation when we are regularly being updated with news like this;

Self driving vehicles are already a thing! They have been making deliveries 650miles long (from Texas to California), since October. (Davies et al., 2017)








The transportation industry in America was employing 20million people in 2002. (, 2017). This was even before great services such as Uber existed which have undoubtedly considerably increased the number of people making a living in this industry. Once the self-driving vehicle technology passes the infancy stage that its currently in, then these people will be out of work. The transportation industry is just one example in which jobs are threatened by automation. Millions of people and families will be affected. For those that have dedicated their lives to a specific skill that machines are capable of replicating, they will be even more effected as they will struggle to find jobs as there will be no demand for that skill that they have invested their entire lives to. Scarcity creates a need for labour, and once you have a machine that can create something for close to nothing then there is no scarcity.

The natural question that arises from this is how are we going help all these people that will now struggle to feed themselves because their jobs have become irrelevant. That’s when we have to start talking along the lines of universal basic income.

There are still reasons to stay positive if the utopia of universal basic income is not up your street. Automation has created jobs that we could never have imagined 50 years ago. If you had told people 50 years ago that there would be an entire industry that provides people different types of coffee, they would not have taken you seriously. But yet here we are, and there are thousands of other examples like this of industries which have taken off with the help technological advancements and which today make up sizable chunks of our economy.

Furthermore, its not so obvious that automation will have a negative long term affect on jobs in a particular industry. There are plenty of examples from history where labour saving devices see

m to have increased employment in the long term. The invention of the cotton spinning machine in the 18th century was opposed in England on the belief that it threatened the jobs of the estimated 7,900 workers in that industry. However, in less then 30 years later the number of workers employed in the cotton textiles production had risen from 7,900 to 320,000. (Hazlitt, n.d.)


Only time will reveal where the machines will take us, but if we do reach a point where labour saving devices become obviously detrimental to employment, then universal basic income seems to be an obvious must. One thing history has taught us about the attempts to stop automation… Resistance is futile.


Bibliography: (2017). Economic Impact on Transportation | Bureau of Transportation Statistics. [online] Available at:

Davies, A., Davies, A., Berger, M., Marshall, A., Stewart, J., Marshall, A., Rogers, A. and Karabell, Z. (2017). A Self-Driving Truck Might Deliver Your Next Refrigerator. [online] WIRED. Available at:

Hazlitt, H. (n.d.). Economics in one lesson. New York: three rivers press, p.50.

Busting the myths on Immigration in the UK – Nour El Huda Shaker – Dubai Campus (4)

Is there a more talked-about topic in British politics than immigration? From Question Time to pubs nationwide, everybody seems to have an opinion on Immigration and Britain’s borders. Since there’s a lot of extra talk around the topic, so lets get the facts straight.

Number 1: the numbers.
“Britain is full of them.”

The myth: Britain is full of immigrants.
The fact: Immigration in the UK is in line with what is happening across an increasingly interconnected world. Immigrants make up just over 10% of Britain’s population, which is lower than many other countries like the USA or Australia.
The solution: The government should focus on investing in economies across the UK, so there are more job opportunities outside the South East.


Number 2: the jobs.
If we give a job to an immigrant, that means one less job for a British person, right? Wrong.

The myth: Immigrants are taking all the jobs
The fact: Despite the common belief of nearly everyone, there is actually no credible evidence to prove that immigration has an adverse effect on jobs. In fact, the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE in its 2015 General Election briefing confirmed that there is no negative impact of immigration on British jobs. While the Labour Force Survey data over the past three years shows that approximately 85% of new hires go to British workers and 15% go to immigrants.
The solution: The government should begin some sort of job creation programme so everyone who wants work can get it.


Number 3: the benefits.
“They’re all benefit scrounger.” “Immigrants only come to Britain for benefits.”

The myth: The UK is soft on asylum seekers/the country is flooded with asylum seekers.
The fact: Asylum claims in the UK are 33% below the EU average, with the UK accounting for just 9% of asylum claims in Europe. Which is the lowest proportion in over a decade.
The solution: Britain has fundamentally been a place where people fleeing persecution can come to find safety.


Some claim that the country is full, but thats hard to prove that because no one knows what the UK’s capacity is. It’s hard to claim that there’s not enough houses to home immigrants when so there are so many potential houses wasted. The majority of the complaints regarding the perceived effects of overpopulation are not nationwide level but regional level. Thus, this can’t be confused with the notion of no room left in the UK.

Furthermore, the number of applications lodged in the year to September 38,878, an annual increase of 20 per cent, the figure is nowhere near the UK’s 2002 peak of 103,000.Germany, by contrast, had taken more than 353,000 applications in the year to October, while Hungary was on 204,000 and Sweden on 94,000. The rate of asylum seekers per million people in the UK was 185, lower than Ireland, Iceland and Switzerland.Most refugees arriving in Britain last year came from Eritrea, followed by Iran, Pakistan, Sudan and Syria.

Additionally, a study published in 2014 by UCL concluded that the sole motive for European migrants in the UK is to work. The same study estimated since the year 2000, migrants coming to the UK have been 43% less likely to claim benefits in comparison to the native workforce.

As for benefits, It is often bemoaned that Britain is too soft when it comes to them but compared to many other EU states we aren’t generous. A Guardian research published in January 2015 showed that in other European countries like Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France and Ireland, the number of British people claiming unemployment benefit was nearly three times as high as the number of nationals of those countries receiving benefits in the UK. A spokesperson for the European Employment Commissioner recently said that the British Government “completely failed to come up with any specific evidence” to show that its welfare system was being abused by EU nationals. He also said that EU nationals pay more in tax than they receive in benefits. In fact, a leaked Home Office document recently admitted that the Government keeps no figures on how many EU nationals claim welfare payments.

So my fellow brits, lets get the facts straights before we jump on the bandwagon of misjudgment and become hostile towards anyone that sounds “foreign”. And now I will leave you with a poem by the British Somali poet Warsaw Shire:

“No one leaves home unless,
home is the mouth of a shark.

You only run for the border,
when you see the whole city running as well.

You only leave home,
when home won’t let you stay.

You have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land ”

Dustmann, C. and Frattini, T. (2014). The Fiscal Effects of Immigration to the UK. The Economic Journal, 124(580), pp.F593-F643.

Hatton, T. (2005). Explaining trends in UK immigration. Journal of Population Economics, 18(4), pp.719-740.

Travis, A. (2017). UK is magnet for highly educated EU migrants, research shows. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].

Wadsworth, J. (2017). Immigration and the UK Labour Market. [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Dec. 2017].

Waterfield, B. (2017). Britain admits it has no figures on EU ‘welfare tourist’ numbers. [online] Available at: [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].