Updated: Sep 13
Most of us realize that sex discrimination at work is unjust. Some are aware that sex discrimination pervades other sectors of the economy, such as finance and technology, in a more fundamental way, by denying women access to capital or devaluing their education.
However, virtually no one among the general public (and only a few in public policy) realize that economic sexism is a structural world problem that wreaks destruction in epic ways, such as causing poverty and perpetuating war. And I would guess that almost everyone would question the assertion of such a causal relationship because they would think there is no data behind it.
I am gratified, therefore, to have been invited to curate four weeks of content covering economic sexism as a global scourge and introducing the audience to the data that demonstrates the causal relationship between women's economic disadvantages and some of humanity's biggest problems.
At this point, massive global datasets have proven that constraints on women’s economic participation significantly retard growth, but also cause poverty, trafficking, instability, and violence, from the personal to the geopolitical. This course, called How Economic Sexism is Destroying the World, summarizes evidence, blasts myths perpetuating exclusion, describes effects, and presents solutions.
The content will be available online beginning September 20 via a new app called "Chapter." Access to it will last four weeks and cost US$30.
A cross between a book club, a college course, and a conversation with well-known thinkers and like-minded peers, Chapter presents subscribed readers with four installments of content under the leadership of an expert or author in that area. The content can be book chapters, articles, videos, podcasts, and so on. Importantly, the platform will also provide direct dialogue with the author (that's me in this case), as well as commentary generated specifically for the course. And, subscribers will also have a means to discuss the material online with others absorbing the same content.
All Chapter courses come with four sections under one heading. My four installments of How Economic Sexism is Destroying the World will be:
The Double X Economy. A huge amount of data, collected since about 2000, shows that women’s economic exclusion reaches every nation on the planet. The initial installment will provide a firsthand look at evidence supporting the conviction that some of humanity’s biggest problems can be resolved simply by treating women equally in the economy.
The pseudo-science of economic bigotry. For many decades, apologists for gender inequality have spouted allegedly “scientific” justifications for keeping women down. I'll explain how modern science debunks these myths, including claims that women have different (and lesser) brains than men, and that humans, like chimps, are naturally patriarchal.
A structural economic problem. Most countries have enacted legislative reforms aimed at bringing women into the economy on an equal basis, but structural and institutional resistance persists. People expect gender-neutrality from economics, when in truth the world's exchange system has been shot through with systemic gender inequality for literally thousands of years. I will also offer a critique of neoclassical economics for its failure to address the wellbeing of half the species.
What can be done? I, for one, am tired of reading about how bad things are for women without being offered any solution or even hope. That's not my style. A coalition of leading international institutions has been testing solutions for the last 10 years, and the evidence is building that economic gender inequality can be eliminated. I'll show a few of these ideas, and encourage readers to imagine their own creative approaches.
I'm looking forward to producing mini videos of commentary for this special group of readers/potential activists and answering whatever questions they may have about the data, the impact, the feasibility—or whatever they wish to ask. I will be using free resources that I expect will take 90 minutes a week to explore, but will provide links to further reading and public access datasets.
As always, my main motivation is to recruit more activists for the women's economic empowerment movement. I anticipate that the kind of person who would subscribe to this material will be exactly the profile of someone who can become a thought leader for this movement and to take forward the cause. I couldn't be happier to have this chance to do that. Please join me. Remember that the opportunity to participate is only going to be available for a limited time—like a special program on television or a new movie in theaters—beginning September 20. You can subscribe to How Economic Sexism is Destroying the World here.