In Southeast Asia, the expansion of free markets has led to high GNP per capita growth over the past few decades. But has this really brought prosperity, particularly for women? This book examines three countries -Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines - where the economic outcome of globalization for women has been very different. In Indonesia and the Philippines, World Bank and IMF strictures have had a negative impact on women. In Taiwan, however, the State has kept control of the economy and the impact of low pay has been far less harsh for women. Drawing upon state-centred theories, the author argues that limiting the role of the state, particularly with welfare state reduction, has been responsible for growing poverty, especially among women. To reverse the trend, the state has to be brought back into the economy as a major player and become responsible for providing welfare for its citizens.

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