Economic case for gender equality in the European Union : Selling gender equality to decision-makers and neoliberalism to women's organizations

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Elomäki , A 2015 , ' Economic case for gender equality in the European Union : Selling gender equality to decision-makers and neoliberalism to women's organizations ' , European Journal of Women's Studies , vol. 22 , no. 3 , pp. 288-302 . https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506815571142

Title: Economic case for gender equality in the European Union : Selling gender equality to decision-makers and neoliberalism to women's organizations
Author: Elomäki, Anna
Contributor organization: Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies 2010-2017
Gender Studies
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Number of pages: 15
Belongs to series: European Journal of Women's Studies
ISSN: 1350-5068
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1350506815571142
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/158326
Abstract: Scholarship on gender and the European Union (EU) has consistently pointed out that EU gender equality policies have always been embedded in the logic of the market and that the economic framing has had negative impacts on the content and concepts of these policies. This article provides novel insights into this discussion by combining a discursive approach focused on framings with insights of feminist economists and examining how the relationship between gender equality and the economy has been conceptualized in EU policy documents from the 1980s up until the present day. The article identifies the key actors and processes behind the escalation of economic arguments for gender equality and makes visible the economic assumptions that underpin EU gender equality policy. It argues that in recent years the European institutions have intentionally developed and propagated a market-oriented gender equality discourse, the economic case for gender equality, which highlights the macroeconomic benefits of gender equality. The economic case reaffirms the gender-biased assumptions of neoclassical economic theory and legitimizes the EU’s current economic priorities and policies, many of which are detrimental to gender equality. The European Commission represents the argument that gender equality contributes to economic growth as an innovative way to promote gender equality. However, the economic case represents a risk for gender equality advocates, because it may tame the emerging feminist criticism of the EU’s economic policies and governance.
Subject: 517 Political science
511 Economics
5141 Sociology
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion


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