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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Lecture examines globalization’s impact on women

    Women and children are the primary victims of globalization through economic and social exploitation, an increased sex worker trade and the pandemic of HIV and AIDS, said professor Julian Kunnie in a lecture yesterday.

    Women constitute more than half of the world’s population and yet reap only one percent of the world’s wealth, said Kunnie, director of Africana studies.

    “”It’s important as educators and as students that when we talk about issues, we be well informed, that we know what we’re talking about,”” he said.

    Kunnie’s lecture, “”Globalization and the Recolonization and Marginalization of Poor Women in the World,”” was part of the Africana studies lecture series and focused on the social exploitation of women as a result of globalization and colonial imperialism.

    “”It’s easy for men to assume that they are the most important figures in the world,”” Kunnie said. “”But it is women who really are the power of this world. The men do the talking; the women do the acting and the deeds.””

    Slavery has not truly been abolished, but instead, workers of giant trans-national corporations are now the modern-day slaves, Kunnie said.

    “”The entire global system of capitalism is predicated on slavery,”” Kunnie said.

    Kunnie drew much of his lecture material from a chapter in his fourth book, which is in the process of being published.

    The spread of HIV and AIDS into a global pandemic is also the result of increased globalization and impoverishment of women, Kunnie said.

    “”Fifty-eight percent of all AIDS cases in Africa are women,”” Kunnie said. “”And half of those infected in other parts of the world are female. Half of the AIDS cases in the United States are African-American women.””

    AIDS is biological warfare waged by the forces of globalization against African people and other colonized people, Kunnie said.

    Kunnie emphasized the importance of women in every society and within the global society.

    “”We need to teach our children to respect women, boys to respect girls. Not to objectify them as sexual objects,”” Kunnie said.

    Not everyone sees globalization as a negative thing. For example, economics professor Michael K. Block said most economists would agree that globalization is a good thing.

    “”It’s just an increase in trade among different countries,”” Block said. “”In most cases, the effect of globalization on people is good.””

    There are isolated instances where globalization could have negative effects on a society, but it creates cheaper goods and higher wages for the most part, Block said.

    “”It does have an effect on people’s wages,”” Block said. “”Especially in highly industrialized countries, some people could be bothered by that. But the gains outweigh the losses.””

    Katie Peterson, who attended the lecture for a class, said Kunnie was “”pretty intense.””

    Peterson, a business junior, said the most striking part of the lecture was Kunnie speaking about slavery still being in action today.

    Charles Mitchell, a political science senior at the lecture, said he was shocked by the high percentages of impoverished people around the world.

    “”The struggle among women is better now, I believe,”” Mitchell said. “”They have more opportunities now than they’ve had in past years. I foresee a lot of progress, still limited, but it’s getting a lot better.””

    Students have a responsibility to study, read and liberate their minds from the colonization that exists within the school system in order to unlearn all the distortions that we possess, Kunnie said.

    “”It’s made us uninterested, detached and dispassionate about learning,”” Kunnie said. “”There seems to be no enthusiasm like you would find in other parts of the world.””

    The next lecture in the series will feature Moji Agha speaking about Iran and media coverage in the U.S. Wednesday, April 29 from noon to 1:50 p.m. in the Modern Languages building, Room 411.

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