Workshop on feminist economics in China and India, India International Centre, New Delhi, 11-12 November, 2013.
Oct 30, 2013.               (Participation by invitation only)
Click for the Workshop Report
A feminist perspective on economic theory, policies and processes should be an essential part of the discipline of economics, but it still tends to be neglected in professional and policy circles across the world for various reasons. It is particularly important in large and "emerging" developing countries like China and India for this perspective to become more widely known and shared, because the absence of a gender perspective in economic analysis and in policy making has many adverse consequences for the present and future.

China and India are very different economies, and are currently also at different stages of development, yet there are some important similarities. They have both experienced recent phases of rapid GDP growth, which has been based to a significant extent on the paid and unpaid economic contributions of women. The growth in both economies has also been associated with increasing inequalities and imbalances across sectors, some of which are increasingly generating social tensions and becoming unsustainable in other ways. A feminist perspective on these and related issues is not just important but even essential to ensure progressive economic trajectories in future.

In this backdrop, Economic Research Foundation, with support from Ford Foundation and UN-Women, is organising a two-day workshop to bring together feminist economists from China and India, including senior and younger scholars and researchers as well as those involved in policy making in both countries. The idea is to exchange views and research output so as to gain better understanding of each other's economies as well as the social and political context in which economic policies are generated and implemented; to plan joint or comparative research on common areas of interest; and to discuss how to develop and lobby for gender-sensitive and progressive economic policy proposals in both countries.

The programme of the workshop is as follows:

Monday, 11 November, 2013

8.30 -9.00 am:

Opening Session 9:00-10:15 am


Jayati Ghosh (Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Inaugural Address
Sayeda Hameed (Member Planning Commission)

Introductory Remarks
Kavita Ramdas (Representative, India, Nepal & Sri Lanka, The Ford Foundation)
Lakshmi Puri (Assistant Secretary-General & Deputy Executive Director, UNWomen)
Elizabeth D. Knup (Representative, Ford Foundation Beijing Office)
Indira Hirway (Director, Centre for Development Alternatives)

Session 2: 10:15 am - 11:15 pm

Setting the agenda: Framework based on IAFFE discussions
Gita Sen (Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore),
Xiao-yuan Dong (University of Winnipeg, Canada) Download: Presentation

Tea/Coffee break: 11:15 11:30 am

Session 3: 11:30 am - 1 pm

Theme: Women in agriculture; food and nutrition concerns
What is the evidence of feminization of agriculture and what explains recent tendencies? How have mechanisation and changing cropping patterns transformed women's work in agriculture? Are women cultivators recognised as farmers, and what implications does that have in terms of access to credit, input and markets? What are the gender concerns with respect to food security and how are they being addressed by policy?

Liqin Zhang (China Agriculture University) Download: Presentation, Wang Zhen (Institute of Economics, China Academy of Social Sciences) Download: Presentation, Smita Gupta (Institute for Social Studies), A.K.Shivakumar (Independent Consultant)

Lunch: 1:00- 2:00 pm

Session 4: 2:00 pm 3:45 pm

Theme: Women as paid workers
What are the changing patterns of women's paid work? Have gender gaps in employment and wages changed? How has involvement in global production networks affected women in particular? Have changing laws that affect women in the workplace in various ways had any impact? What are the gendered patterns of informality and work insecurity? What strategies are useful for self-employed women?

Jing Liu (Central University of Finance and Economics) Download: Presentation, Yuhao Ge (Renmin University) Download: Presentation, Jin Feng (Fudan University) Download: Presentation, Ratna Sudarshan (Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi)

Theme: Education, skill development and "employability"
Are there continuing gender inequalities in education access and outcomes? What are the ''glass ceilings'' apparent in higher education and skilled/professional work? What factors constrain women's employability and access to work? How do social relations and other forms of discrimination interweave with gender patterns?

Vibhuti Patel (SNDT University, Mumbai)

Tea/Coffee Break: 3:45-4:00 pm

Session 5: 4:00-6:00 pm

Women as unpaid workers
How significant in unpaid work in the total activity of women and in the economy as a whole? What is the gender distribution of unpaid work? How has social reproduction been affected by recent patterns of accumulation and growth? What role can public policy play in increasing or reducing the burden of unpaid work?

Liangshu Qi (Tsinghua University) Download: Presentation, Dev Nathan (Institute for Human Development, New Delhi) Download: Presentation, Indira Hirway (Centre for Development Alternatives), Download: Presentation, N. Neetha Pillai (Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi) Download: Presentation

7:30 pm Dinner at Terrace Pergola, India International Centre

Tuesday, 12 November, 2013

Session 1: 9:00-10:15 am

Theme:Women and migration

What are the forces driving women's migration for work? How are family members impacted by the migration of male and female adults? How gender-sensitive is public policy for migration?

Junxia Zeng (Renmin University) Download: Presentation, Indrani Mazumdar (Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi) Download: Presentation

Tea break: 10:15 to 10:30

Session 2: 10:30 to 11:30

Theme: Health issues

How have health transitions varied in India and China, and why? What are the major concerns with respect to health? How has public health policy impacted on women and girls in particular?

Hongmei Yi (Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy Download: Presentation, Chinese Academy of Sciences), Gita Sen Download: Presentation, Aasha Mehta (Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi)

Session 3: 11:30 - 1.30 pm

Theme: Economic and social roots of violence against women, changing sex ratios and social and political empowerment

What are the changing patterns of domestic and other violence against women? What role do changes in asset distribution (particularly land) play in this? What other economic, political and social changes have contributed to this? How does son preference play out in demographic changes and how is this reflected in economic and social changes? How can such violence be addressed by public policy and other social interventions?

Yueping Song (Renmin University) Download: Presentation, Govind Kelkar (Landesa, Rural Development Institute, New Delhi) Download: Presentation, Kalyani Menon Sen (Feminist Learning Partnerships, Gurgaon), Mary E. John (Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi) Download: Presentation

Lunch: 1.30 to 2.30 pm

Session 4: 2.30 4.30 pm

Theme: Integrating gender into economic policies

Summing up the discussion: Jayati Ghosh
A consideration of positive strategies and areas for advocacy.

Feng Yuan (Center for Women's Studies at Shantou University) Download: PDF, Devaki Jain (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era) Xiaopeng Pang (Renmin University) Download: Presentation, Mridul Eapen (Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala) Download: Presentation, Ritu Dewan (Department of Economics (Autonomous) Download: Presentation, University of Mumbai), Dakshita Das (Formerly with Government of India)

Tea/Coffee break: 4.30 4.45 pm

Session 5: 4:45 6:00 pm

Closing Remarks and Plans for the Future
Rebecca Tavares (UN Women, New Delhi), Xiao-yuan Dong, Gita Sen, Elizabeth D. Knup,
Indira Hirway, Kavita Ramdas


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