Read the online article “Women and the Global Economy,” by Sarah L. Henderson and Alana S. Jeydel.  Also look at the graph (Gender Equality Indices) provided in this section.  The graph was put together by the United Nations and demonstrates the services necessary to improve women’s political and economic equality globally.

This article examines how work is defined and how that definition skews women’s contributions to the economy globally.  The authors of the article use terms like the “shadow economy” to help us understand why women laborers are often adversely affected by economic downturns and other global issues.  Most importantly, as you read the article understand that women’s issues have an immediate and direct impact on their families, and this is especially true in countries with very poor economies.  As a side note, if the article contains considerable statistical data, you only need to scan through this data to get a general idea of the numbers being used to support the authors’ arguments — you will not be asked to use these numbers in any kind of analytical fashion.


Although more than half of the women worldwide work to earn money, there is still a great deal of controversy surrounding what type of work is appropriate for women, the wages that should be paid, the need for affordable child care, and so on.  Complicating these issues are the difficulties caused by a very  narrow definition of “work.”  For this response, discuss first the problems in defining “women’s work.”  Follow this with an analysis of women’s labor as part of the global “shadow economy” as well as how economic crises affect women.  For example, what are some of the obstacles in today’s world that make it difficult for women to improve their economic situations?  How might some of these obstacles be addressed?