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DEVS 340 (1)


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Queen's University
Global Development Studies
DEVS 340
Marcus Taylor

Mies, Maria. (1999). “Housewifization International: Women and the New International Division of Labour” in Patriarchy and Capital Accumulation. London and New York: Zed Books, p. 113-144. In her work, Mies discusses the nature of the exploitation of women globally. She argues that the Western-based conception of women’s roles in society have resulted in the exploitation of women through their absence in development frameworks. By analyzing four categories of work (agriculture, handicraft production, the electronic industry, and the prostitution industry), Mies uses these case studies to explain how the Post-WWII neoliberal economy has resulted in the creation of a “new international division of labour”. Their roles in these industries have been allocated as a result of stereotyped “features” universal to all women such as their “nimble fingers”, “docile natures”, etc. In filling the roles of “housewives” in traditionally patriarchal societies, women become invisible to the development project and thereby made vulnerable and prone to exploitation as a social group by multinational corporations. As a parallel, Mies discusses how in the First World, women are socialized as “housewives” to become mass consumers
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