1.3 Developing Equitable Economic and Social Policy

Existing discrimination against women in the economic sector has been exacerbated by the introduction of structural adjustment programs in many countries. Belt-tightening measures resulting from such policies have an especially strong negative impact on women.
With this situation in mind, consultations as to economic and social issues are of great importance as a means to advance the status of women. Proportionally, women could benefit more than men from restructuring, where special consideration paid to the social components of such programs. The following recommendations are dependent upon the specific conditions within each country and the aims of the relevant projects.
Concrete measures to ensure that aspects relevant to women are taken into account in the formulation of more social oriented economic and social policies can only be developed when the problems have first been analyzed from a woman's point of view. This perspective is a combination of expert opinion, the experiences of women's organizations, and women who are personally affected.
For the development of economic and social policy which considers women's needs, top decision-makers, men, as a rule, must heighten their sensitivity for women's issues, and measures with ensure a greater participation of women in decision-making bodies must be adopted.
Suggestions as to how women's issues can be better incorporated into the everyday discussion process can be found in the manual "Soziale Dimensionen der Marktwirtschaft" (Social Dimensions of the Market Economy).

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