chapter  3
Responding to Shocks: Women’s Experiences of Economic Shocks in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu
Pages 24

Since 2007, the world economy has experienced a fiercely cyclical phase, punctuated by a number of major shocks. A surge in food and fuel prices through 2007 and 2008 tended to make poor households poorer (World Bank, 2008). A financial crisis emanating from the United States manifested itself into the Global Economic Crisis (GEC) with an accompanying contraction in global demand and trade. Impacts were felt acutely in many developing countries through collapsing demand for their trade-exposed manufactures, the producers of which employ women in disproportion. Even though more men in the United States and Europe experienced job loss as a result of the GEC (Otobe, 2011), in many countries women were likely to lose their jobs due to employment in precarious sectors or discrimination that sees them fired first (Parks et al., 2009; Green et al., 2010; King and Sweetman, 2010; Seguino, 2010). In Cambodia, for instance, where women are largely employed by the highly trade-exposed textile and clothing industries, women were most affected by over 38,000 industry job losses in 2009 (Otobe, 2011). In Nicaragua, when a textile factory closed in 2009, over 85 per cent of jobs lost were held by women (Silva, 2009).