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Global Economic Crises Impacts Women Differently: International Feminist Economists Conference June 26-28

Simmons College to Host More than 250 Women Economists from Around the World

BOSTON (June 22, 2009) — Recognizing that men and women lead different economic lives and are therefore affected differently during an economic crisis, some of the world's leading economists will come to together June 26-28 at an international feminist economics conference at Simmons College, to explore what can be done to produce policies that help women by reducing gender inequalities.

More than 250 feminist economists and gender specialists will converge in Boston for the 18th annual International Association for Feminist Economists (IAFFE) conference, titled "Engendering Economic Policy." Conference participants will explore the differences in men's and women's engagement in the economy, and the gendered impact of recent events. The conference also will feature an array of papers, panel discussions, and training workshops on varied topics, including what can be done about gender equality in the business and banking world, improving women's decision-making power within households, and women's economic empowerment in Afghanistan.

This event is open to the public but registration is required; on-site registration is available.  For further details, visit Featured speakers include Heather Boushey, a senior economist for the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C.; Judith Kurland, chief of staff to the mayor of Boston; Randy Albelda, an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts, Boston; and Dzodzi Tsikata, senior research fellow, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana.

There will be two plenary sessions: "Linking Feminist Economics to Women's Lives" and "Engendering Policy Responses to the Current Crisis." Session titles include: Gender Dimensions of the Financial Crisis; Migration: Those Who Go and Those Who Stay; and Credit, Consumption and Empowerment Caring for Children and Adults.

According to IAFFE, sectors traditionally dominated by men — such as finance, construction and manufacturing that have been severely impacted by the financial crisis, have consumed much of the media attention.  However, there are significant gender impacts from the recession.  Government cuts disproportionately hit women, both as workers and as unpaid caregivers, particularly when education, childcare and eldercare services are reduced.  Also, the increase in households in which women are the only adults and the high male unemployment rates mean many more households are depending solely on women's income — which, on average, is still less than that of men.

IAFFE President Susan Himmelweit, an economics professor at the Open University in the U.K., said of the conference: "Our aim is to strengthen the link between the feminist perspective and economic policy, to ensure that  women's concerns are taken into account in policy making. Such concerns include making certain that caring work is better recognized and rewarded, and that spending on care services that reduce women's unpaid labor is increased rather than cut in the crisis."

IAFFE is a non-profit organization that seeks to advance feminist inquiry of economic issues and to educate economists and others on feminist points of view on economic issues.

Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university located in the heart of Boston.  It offers an undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in health sciences, education, liberal arts, social work, library and information science, and communications management, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women.