Review: Who’s is counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics

“Who’s is counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics” is a documentary of 94 minutes where Marilyn Waring clearly explains the language of economics by defining it as a value system in which all goods and activities are related only to their monetary value. Marilyn Waring is a former New Zealand Parliament member, elected in 1975 when she was 22, who a critic of the standard cost-benefit analysis of labor and productivity. In the documentary, she asked a question, “Why isn’t the unpaid work of women counted in the gross domestic product?” All the documentary revolves around this question.

Her 1998 book “If human counted” persuaded the United Nations to redefine the Gross Domestic Progress. Had done a lot of works on women and economics. She had challenged the myths of economics and its controls as well as the valuation of the economics.

She stated that “Gross domestic product tells nothing about the poverty and others indicators” and now we should think about the alternative. Marilyn Waring points out that the root cause of economic imbalance is from the influence of the “War Production Accounting System”. According to Waring, this strategically scary and damaging system was invented by Keynes during WWII to count war production and it specifically excludes “Subsistence Economies”! The system was never dismantled after the war and all members of the United Nations, by treaty, must still use this system today. The present economic system is invisible during the time of productivity which leads to invisible during the time of distribution, especially the work of female is seen invisible in the monetary evaluation due to which there is the difference in distribution. She further explains by giving an example of reproducing human lives; which is only performed by female and the sad news is that the present economy doesn’t value it. Also, she presents another example of a subsistence economy which is done by a largely female population of developing and underdeveloped countries; which in fact is not counted by the present economy. As far as I understood her point is that unpaid works; usually performed by a female are marked as unimportant and put aside while counting its value in the economics and it is necessary to include in economics if we want to solve the big problems like poverty, inequality and makes the world peace.

This documentary has changed my perception towards economics, and justice and also provides the new angle towards the evaluation of the work. As she says that the works of more than half the population of this planet are excluded from the monetary evaluation by this economic system which results in the different problem and the gap between the sexes. I found that she expresses the need for domestic and reproductive labor to be monetarily compensated but the question is how can we measure such things? I didn’t find the answer of this question in this documentary. After looking the documentary, I think that this system is successfully perpetuate by certain supranational organizations and certain elites and hope that this system will be displaced by the new justiciable economic system through study, discussion, and research.



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