The global political economy refers to the study of economics within the scope of international relations. This is an academic discipline in social sciences that is inter-related with a lot of other disciplines. If one wishes to study global political economy in depth then overlooking gender is not an option. Why is this case? Because every academic discipline has women in its structure who are just as prevalent as men. Gender plays an important role in the global political economy. It’s 2016 and wage gap is still a persisting issue just like it was in the 1960’s. It appears that the feminist movement continues to rise and while everyone acknowledges that there is a difference in the economic benefits for men and women respectively, yet somewhat negatively, nothing is being done to ultimately solve the problem of imbalance between the genders within global political economy. (Iversen & Rosenbluth 2010).

The world is advancing rapidly both technologically and economically. Our political paradigms are shifting and women are appearing in positions of political power (seems like the US doesn’t want a woman in-charge, Sorry Hillary Clinton). But overall we are all, at least on the surface advancing into a new age where things are becoming easier for us. Well, easier for some people whilst harder for the others. Gender inequality is still a very important issue in the global political economy context and many world leaders somewhat push the issue “under the carpet”. It is a widely held belief that the improvement in the development of a nation is due in part to gender equality. By equality this means equal pay, economical distribution and workplace benefit for both men and women equally-just to name a few. In 2015, a female worker made only 80 cents in comparison to a man who made a dollar which shows a gender wage gap of 20 percent. Women make up half the workforce but still get paid less than men. There is no wage equality and the data points significantly to the discrimination that women face in any given occupation (Eastin,&Prakash,2013).

The only industry where women consistently earn more than men is in adult entertainment. What does this tell you about our world? We objectify women and are willing to pay them more not for their skills but rather for their body or within the realms of objectification. Women face discrimination in almost every work industry even though, Institute for women’s policy research highlights that no matter what the qualification women have they will still get paid less than their male counterparts. It will take us 44 years to reach pay parity so it is time we wait for the year 2059 to see women earning equal to their male colleagues. (IWPR,2016).

Women disproportionally do not hold managerial positions in their field of work, even in fields where women make up the majority of the workforce such as teaching; this alone literally screams out how strong the current patriarchy continues to be. Developed countries with progressing economies are supposed to be champions of gender equality but even in them the patriarchal institution is very strong. It exposes women to exploitative production practices and forces them into low paying jobs. This undermines the concept of how development is conceived to be positively correlated to equality (Iversen & Rosenbluth 2010).

Gender equality matters if we are going to look forward to a world where there is no discrimination. It matters if we want to tell our daughters that they can achieve the same thing that men can. It is 2016 and we still haven’t broken down the chains of patriarchy that limit our progress, maybe it is time we reflect on our policies and make amends. For thousands of years women were not given the rights enjoyed by men and it will take time for us to make things right but the current power holders are doing minimal to change things. Gender equality will shake up the hierarchical power structure.  It will challenge the society, culture, moral and values which is a risk nobody is willing to take because then we would have to acknowledge the elephant in the room. Nobody wants to admit that patriarchy has slowed the progression of women in the global political economy.

Helen O’Neill





Iversen, T., & Rosenbluth, F. (2010). A POLITICAL ECONOMY APPROACH TO GENDER INEQUALITY. In Women, Work, and Politics: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality (pp. 1-16). Yale University Press. Retrieved from Accessed 28 November, 2016

Pay Equity & Discrimination — IWPR. (2016). Retrieved from: Accessed 28 November, 2016

Eastin, J., & Prakash, A. (2013). Economic Development and Gender Equality: Is There a Gender Kuznets Curve?. World Politics,


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