Is gender relevant to macroeconomics? What are the gendered implications of various economic concepts, methodologies and approaches? This glossary highlights the gender dimensions of key macroeconomic concepts and processes, and areas where gender is increasingly being considered in economic theory, policy formulation and evaluation.
In the past, economists have neglected gender as an influential factor, and gender analysis has been restricted to issues of male/female labour force participation and wage differences. In the 1960s, market models were first applied to household production and analysis of time-use to explain division of labour between men and women. In the following two decades, analysis of labour market discrimination and inter-household decision-making showed that men and women had different degrees of economic power.
Meanwhile the prevailing debt crises, and the lack of gender analysis in planning structural adjustment programmes that followed, led to women being particularly vulnerable, despite being extensively relied on for their labour. It is now recognised that gender biases exist in what were previously though to be gender neutral adjustment models. Expanding world trade also warrants greater attention being given to the different impact on men and women of globalisation of world markets.