The 2nd session of the Global Multilingual Forum Meridian 180 “Transformations of Gender Order, Neoliberal Economy and Social Reproduction” was held!

The second session of the Global Multilingual Forum Meridian 180 “Transformations of Gender Order, Neoliberal Economy and Social Reproduction” took place on February 18, 2022. In this session, we reviewed the gender issues of the pandemic in East Asia that were discussed in the first conference of the Meridian180 forum with the Asia-Japan Research Institute, specifically, about the challenges of paid and unpaid caregiving, care inside and outside the home, and changes in the neoliberal economy that have underestimated care. Three panelists were invited to this session, and we focused on a wide range of issues concerning social reproduction, including the ecological aspects.

Ms. Yu-Rung Chyn (Secretary General, Awakening Foundation, Taiwan) pointed out that the government’s neglect of social reproduction has resulted in significant “temporal poverty” for parents, especially mothers, and a lack of perspective on this problem has resulted in insufficient government measures against the pandemic. Professor Ogawa Reiko (Chiba University, Japan) argued that migrant care workers, who are important providers of care for the elderly in Japan, are subject to institutional inequalities, and that care work can also be a means of empowerment for them, and she discussed the need to ensure the reproduction of these migrant workers. Finally, Professor Hyun Mee Kim (Professor, Yonsei University, South Korea) connected the gender inequalities in care work exposed by the pandemic to the problems of environmental destruction caused by capitalism, and emphasized the need to dismantle the dichotomy of social and ecological systems from the broad framework of social reproduction.

Professor Shu-chin Grace Kuo (National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan), one of the commentators, pointed out that we need to take a closer look at the implications of the new way of life under the pandemic. Additionally, Professor Amy Stanley (Northwestern University) depicted that the notion of care as a woman’s domestic role is a historical construct, suggesting that the situation under the pandemic could be viewed as a new historical change.

Through these discussions, this session confirmed that the difficulties surrounding care workers during the pandemic are some of the fundamental problems in socio-economic systems that have neglected the role of women in social reproduction, and that it is important to analyze this event that has revealed signs of transformation in terms of the gender perspective.

Attendees for this session