As the men migrate, or do not have the money to support a family, and as the state lacks or is presumed not to have funds to invest in social reproduction, a new patriarchal regime comes into existence, that places women in the “Third World” under the control of the World Bank, the IMF and the many NGOs that manage “income generating projects” and “aid” programs.
These are the new supervisors and exploiters of women’s reproductive work, and this new patriarchy relies on the collaboration of European and North American women who, like new missionaries, are recruited to train women in the “colonies” to develop the attitudes necessary to become integrated in the global economy.
Silvia Federici, « Reproduction and Feminist struggle in the new international division of labor » (1999), in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 74-75
Similar considerations apply to the efforts that feminists have made to convince governments to criminalize domestic violence and the “traffic” in women. These initiatives do not go to the roots of the abuses perpetrated against women.
Can punishments remedy the situation of abject poverty that leads parents in some countries to sell their children into prostitution? And how can governments in Asia or Africa upgrade the condition of women when the World Bank and the IMF force them to cut all social spending and adopt the strictest austerity programs?47 How can these governments give women equal access to education or better health care when structural adjustment requires them to cut all subsidies to these programs? And will parents be likely to send their daughters to schools when their sons are unemployed after obtaining a diploma?
If international feminism and global sisterhood are to be possible, feminists must campaign against structural adjustment, the payment of the foreign debt, and the introduction of intellectual property laws, which are the means by which the new international division of labor is being organized, and the livelihood of the majority of the world population is undermined.
Silvia Federici, « Reproduction and Feminist struggle in the new international division of labor » (1999), in Revolution at point Zero : Housework Reproduction and Feminist Struggle, p. 73-74