Women in Europe and in the world : the State of the Union 2016
Title: Women in Europe and in the world : the State of the Union 2016
Author: RUBIO MARIN, Ruth
Citation: International journal of constitutional law, 2016, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 545-554
Series/Number: [State of the Union Keynote Address]; 
ISSN: 1474-2640; 1474-2659
Building on the definition of oppression developed by the philosopher Iris Young, the article argues that women in Europe are an oppressed group. Relying on recent statistics, it points out that a high percentage of women are still subject to gender violence; economically exploited and marginalized; powerless with regard to governance and participation in the public sphere, as well as victims of androcentrism—a pattern of cultural evaluation which seriously undermines women’s potential for development. The article then shows how this state of affairs has worsened over the last years, under the effects of the financial and economic crisis, and the austerity policies with which the European states have responded. Finally, it singles out two possible future scenarios. If the current neo-liberal trends persist, we can expect a move towards societies more polarized in terms of class and ethnicity; low fertility rates; and an increasing poverty of those most in need of care and in charge of care provision. The crisis could instead be perceived as an opportunity to diverge from this prevailing neo-liberal model, calling for a new, inclusive, societal model of development—a new humanism which puts the person, in her whole complexity and in her very real care dependent nature, at the very core of the political and economic project.
Published: 13 September 2016; State of the [European] Union 2016 Keynote address delivered at Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, on 6 May 2016
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