Volume 43, Number 170,
July-September 2012

Female Labor: New Inequalities, Chávez Hoyos, Marina, Mexico, Problemas del Desarrollounam, 2012, 211p

Over six chapters, Marina Chávez undertakes research aimed at outlining the characteristics and conditions facing women in the field of employment. She complements her ideas with gender comparisons, the aim being to show the difficulties facing women entering the job market, compared to men. The period of analysis is one within a framework of increasing work flexibility, which arose world-wide from the 1990s to the beginning of the twenty-first century.

The data employed enriches the reflections on different aspects of gender study. These in turn promote refection on job market analysis, from an economic perspective, without leaving social conditions to one side, one of the most important being gender discrimination.

By way of introduction in her work, she briefly resurrects the theories that have contributed to the study of gender within the labor markets. Thus she highlights authors such as Murani (2000) who believe “conditions in female employment are an acute manifestation of capitalist restructuring in recent decades” (p.13) as well as Ferbe and Nelson (1993), Carrasco (1999) and Borderías, Carrasco and Alemany (1994) providing a broader vision of the research conducted on this topic from an academic perspective.

Similarly, theories are included that have arisen at the heart of international organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and other theories that explain a series of diverse related topics, such as the system of patriarchal domination, discrimination, precariousness, the role of the State, etc.

After giving a scientific interpretation of the problem, the study compares different societies such as the Mexican and European. The intention at this level of study is to observe women’s inclusion in the labor market, before the unfavorable employment being generated (p.51), and include a relevant thesis within gender studies. This highlights that not all women necessarily make up an industrial army of reserve. Both societies, Mexican and European, independent of their differences, share new economic and productive conditions that require work flexibility and female participation.

This has led the gender set up in the job market to develop new cultural, professional and ideological patterns. The change in ideological perception towards employment, family, professionalism, etc. has been part of increasing female participation in different periods.

From chapter four, Marina looks at gender differences, particularly noteworthy are conditions for men and women within occupational structure by sector of activity. It is important to mention that chapter four complements chapter six, where the line of research is continued, concluding with the deteriorating work conditions and quality of work for both sexes.

Marina Chávez’ text is an invitation to reflect upon the successes and mistakes of economic policy, the repercussions for the labor market and the challenges to be faced. The book, which is an enjoyable read and a sound interpretation of the data, represents a serious contribution to this debate, underlining clearly the importance of reevaluating the role of women within a new, global economic structure.

Diana Atempa
Institute of Economic Research, unam
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Published in Mexico, 2012-2018 © D.R. Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).
PROBLEMAS DEL DESARROLLO. REVISTA LATINOAMERICANA DE ECONOMÍA, Volume 49, Number 194 July-September 2018 is a quarterly publication by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México, D.F. by Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas, Circuito Mario de la Cueva, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán,
CP 04510, México, D.F. Tel (52 55) 56 23 01 05 and (52 55) 56 24 23 39, fax (52 55) 56 23 00 97, www.probdes.iiec.unam.mx, revprode@unam.mx. Journal Editor: Moritz Cruz. Reservation of rights to exclusive use of the title: 04-2012-070613560300-203, ISSN: pending. Person responsible for the latest update of this issue: Minerva García, Circuito Maestro Mario de la Cueva s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, CP 04510, México D.F., latest update: August 29th, 2018.
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