«ANSA Alternatives to Neo-liberalism in Southern Africa The search for Sustainable human development in Southern Africa Editors: Godfrey Kanyenze, ...»
However, there are also perceived costs to EPAs. One of the major concerns raised by African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is the ability of the local industry to survive and meet all the new production requirements under EPAs. Many of the agricultural producers, which are mainly women, do not have the adequate resources to meet the new phytosanitary requirements being recommended by the EU. This means that the intended beneficiaries will not enjoy the new trade concessions.
In addition, the EU had clearly stated that it would not increase its budget allocations for aid and loans. The question that arises is how will the burden of adjustment be financed? There seems to be an implication by the EU that this burden will automatically be reduced when the benefits of EPAs begin to flow in. Past experience has shown that expected foreign investment inflows have not always followed economic reforms and trade liberalisation within Southern Africa. Instead, there has been rising unemployment and poverty with the burden of adjustment shoved onto women’s shoulders.
If this analysis is true and we assume that EPAs may bring an even heavier adjustment burden, then it would be accurate to assume that women will shoulder the burden of adjustment under EPAs. This is a Aprodev is a network of the European development organisations which work closely together with the World Council of Churches (WCC).
Many of the impact assessment studies that have been carried out for the Southern African region are gender blind and will not be referred to in this paper.
dangerous assumption. Women cannot supply their labour indefinitely, nor do they have the resources to shoulder any extra burdens. In this case, it would be safe to conclude the EPAs (in their current form) are not the answer to women’s problems within Southern Africa. There are many
pitfalls that should be taken into account during EPA negotiations:
6. An engendered alternative to neo-liberalism
6.1 Economic policy At the heart of developing an engendered alternative framework for economic growth and development should be the redressing of neoliberalism. Markets have imperfections that need to be acknowledged and considered by socio-economic policies. SAPs have failed to deliver and it is of paramount importance that policy makers realise that they will not eradicate poverty. In this vain, the paradigm of neo-liberalism must not be prescribed to alleviate Southern Africa’s poverty. Globalisation must have a holistic approach to socio-economic growth and human development. Figure 6 below summarises an engendered alternative development framework.
Figure 6. An engendered alternative to growth and development Source.
M. Mhloyi and G. Kanyenze. Zimbabwe Human Development Report concept paper Economic policy has to be gender sensitive from the onset. Paying more attention to women’s roles and unpaid work is a good starting point.
Women remain the true custodians of social service provision in the household and thus poverty eradication economic policy has to lessen this den on women. It cannot be left to the markets. If adjustment and development programmes are to achieve their intended objectives, then gender analysis must be a basic and integral part of the design of policies and programmes aimed at economic growth and poverty eradication.
Gender analysis must specify the imbalances in the gender division of labour, the diversity and asymmetry of households and intra-household relationships, gender-based differentials in incentive capacity resulting from differential access to, and especially control over economically productive resources, the implications of the invisibility of women's work in the economy for economic choices and strategies and in the evaluation of outcomes.
Improving the gender-responsiveness of socio-economic frameworks is a means to improve the globalisation process itself. Globalisation that raises the labour requirements of women without the corresponding actions to ease women's labour constraints (through labour-saving elsewhere or through complementary investment to improve the efficiency and accessibility of infrastructure and services), are not sustainable and should not be implemented. In order to increase the effectiveness of adjustment programmes, both men and women must be heard as they participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of these programmes.
6.2 Access to resources Several measures can be taken to reduce or remove the constraints of women’s response to economic opportunities. Some of these relate to reducing the time burden on women, for example, through improvements in the provision of a social infrastructure, such as water supply, childcare facilities etc. In order to improve direct returns to women’s labour, there is a need to secure their property rights through legal reforms although these often have limited effectiveness at local level unless women develop bargaining power to assert their claims. Reformed policies in the social sectors need to be based on an adequate social analysis of the risks faced by various stakeholders (with particular attention to gender analysis) in the process and programmes to be implemented. Gender-inclusive beneficiary assessment and participatory preparation will be important instruments in the preparation of these investments.
Gender biases in financial and agricultural markets need to be tackled. In the financial sector the following measures could be taken: a) support to the development of non-bank financial institutions which are successful in reducing transactions costs of lending to women, b) an emphasis on savings, as well as credit, to mobilise women’s own resources, and c) the reform of banking institutions and legislation to remove discriminatory practices are all possible measures. Legal definitions of financial mechanisms should be flexible to ensure that institutions lending money to women are not affected negatively (Baden 1997).
6.3 Economic empowerment of women Alternative gender issues within Southern Africa should include the economic empowerment of women. The Dakar and Beijing declarations agreed and signed by various African governments underlined that many governments would prioritise poverty reduction and the economic empowerment of women. Commitments included the review and adoption of macro-economic policies and development strategies that address the needs of women, the review of national legislation to promote women’s rights to the access and control of resources, the conducting of national research on women’s work and the development of alternatives that address the issues of women and poverty eradication.
Reviewing progress that has been made so far by the different SADC members under the SADC Gender Unit reveals that individual governments have established nationally recognised gender initiatives or created gender focal points within the government structures. For example; South Africa created the Commission on Gender Equality that has to promote the effective participation of women in South African socio-economic and political activities; Zimbabwe has commissioned that one of its ministries (the Ministry of Youth, Employment Creation and Gender) must deal with gender issues, The Southern African region has to reinforce political commitment to support and empower women.
6.4 Participation in decision-making processes Women remain under-represented in local and parliamentary elected seats, yet they form the majority of the total population in most Southern African countries. The SADC Gender Declaration advocates that by 2005, member States should have at least attained a 30% representation of women in key decision and policy-making positions (within the national political structures). This noble initiative will only be achievable where there is an enabling legal framework and a strong political will to do so.
Regrettably, there seems to be a general unwillingness or lack of dedication by many of the SADC member states to uphold this commitment. Table 12 shows the number of women holding political positions within the SADC region.
Table 12. Women in decision-making structures in the SADC region
Governments and institutions have to continue promoting and implementing commitments made to increase women’s participation in national and regional political spheres. Southern African governments must make technical and financial resources equally available for both men and women to promote equal opportunities for both sexes to participate in political processes. In addition, training, research and policy discussions on ways to improve governance and democratic principles in political parties are necessary if women are to participate in the political arena effectively.
FOOD FOR THOUGHTBox 8 Economic failure of neo-liberalism will not automatically lead to the collapse of its ideological hegemony The Chinese tried to institute a Cultural Revolution years after they had effectively removed the feudal (in rural areas) and semi-colonial (in port cities) fetters to their historical development. But the Cultural Revolution came too late, and when it did, in 1966, it was done in a desperate move to save the revolution that was already being devoured from inside the party and the state. In its last three years, the Cultural Revolution turned about face, which led to the denigration of significant sections of the patriotic and productive classes. The backlash to the last years of ferocity paved the way for the restoration of capitalism in China, presently co-existing with the remnants of certain socialist institutions and practices, and above all, the continuing rule of the Communist Party.
However, as long as capitalism remains a global system, the revolutionary forces have to contend with not only the power (military power) of the capitalist states but also the ideological appeal of individualism and the temptations of a hedonistic culture that remains rooted in sections of the society long after their political power is destroyed. The recent experience of countries such as Venezuela and Argentina bear testimony to this reality of our times. This is a major challenge to the project on Alternatives to NeoLiberalism in Southern Africa.
And yet, it is absolutely important to take up the ideological challenges of the modern capitalist order (individualism, greed, expansion of the market into all parts of human life, representative democratic system of governance, the minimum state, etc.) and its cultural temptations (music, film, art, drama, wining and dining, sports, speed cars, flights to the moon, etc). This is not to advocate cultural isolation; far from it. It is to argue a case for opening the cultural windows gently for refreshing air from outside, without opening them so wide that the winds scuttle furniture and uproot the flowers and seedlings that may be germinating out of a new cultural renaissance.
This is a big subject. It has to be thought through carefully and integrated within the alternative programme not as a post-revolutionary cultural revolution, but as part of the ideological and cultural preparation leading to the alternative strategies being proposed.
Chapter 15 Culture and language in Southern Africa in the era of globalisation
In the two decades running from 1975 to 1994 Southern Africa slowly but steadily, with great sacrifices and pain, saw the unravelling of settler colonialism as the last phase of the African political decolonisation process. Angola and Mozambique went through fully-fledged civil wars at the end of the colonial withdrawal. In Zimbabwe, where the hardest and most successful of the anti-colonial wars was fought, post-independence blood-letting in Matabeleland marred and undermined the prospective harmony between Zimbabwe Africa Peoples Union (ZAPU) and Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), Matabeleland and Mashonaland, creating an unfortunate memory and a latent fragility in the African political consensus that came later. Namibia arrived at independence with a great deal of help from the United Nations. South Africa, the last chapter in the saga, buried apartheid through a monumental compromise that many have described as a miracle. From the tail end of the "African decade of Independence" (1960–1970) the former High Commission Territories (Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland) have quietly carried on as independent states without much fanfare. Colonial freedom in Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania had been made less eventful than the hard-core settler colonial states in the region. Southern Africa in the post-colonial phase has, like the rest of Africa, been pursuing development goals as leading concerns.
However, the development record of the 40 to 50 years of postcolonialism in Africa has been at best patchy. Most countries on the continent are faced with stagnating economies, problematic political orders, frayed educational systems, health crises and deepening cultural denationalisation. The developmental inertia or torpor, which has for so long gripped Africa, has bred the notion of "Afro-pessimism"; that Africa is virtually on mission impossible. There are implications to "Afro-pessimism" which are philosophically unsavoury. The idea that Africans are doomed to languish in the doldrums smacks of racism and irrational fatalism.
All of this is happening in a world that is increasingly becoming globalised, where economic, social, and political relations are becoming not only inter-penetrative but also increasingly lopsided. This process has been given the sobriquet, "globalisation". What is the meaning of this buzzword globalization, which is so persistently doing the rounds?
2. Globalisation and its effects