Women's Work in the Global Economy
What does globalization mean for women and work in Canada? That's the question foremost in the mind of Leah Vosko, the recipient of the Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Gender and Work at York University. Vosko is one of Canada's leading thinkers on the changing dynamic of women and paid work. Her 2000 book, Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship, is the first in-depth analysis of temporary work in Canada. In the research chair position, Vosko will extend her analysis of the relationship between gender, work, and global restructuring in a variety of directions. The feminisation of employment differs in various industrialised countries. Vosko's research will include a comparative study of the post-1970 "different faces of feminisation" in the European Community and North America. The project will explore a diverse range of issues from legal developments to policy trends and trade-union responses. Complementing this will be a study of the gendered character of provincial and state-level social assistance in Canada and the United States. This research will focus on the effects of welfare policy restructuring on single mothers. To what extent, Vosko asks, have new social assistance policies and programs, such as "workfare," altered these women's ability to "claim the social rights of citizens in these two liberal welfare states?" The chair position recognizes Vosko's up-and-coming research star status. Although she received her Ph.D. in 1998, she has already established herself as a respected and even pivotal Canadian researcher in feminist political economy. In the research chair position, Vosko will direct a Community-University Research Alliance project involving four universities and seven community groups, examining the nature and extent of contingent work in Canada.