The Economy of Francesco

young people, a pact, the future

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young people, a pact, the future

international events

September 22-24 2022, - Assisi

September 22-24 2022, Assisi

"The Economy of Francesco"

young people, a pact, the future

Breaking news:

published today the letter with which Pope Francis summons young economists and entrepreneurs to Assisi to propose a pact for a new economy. Economy of Communion participates in the organizing committee of the event together with the Diocese and the Municipality of Assisi and the Seraphic Institute.

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Without women there is no real development

EoF: Stories - Azerbaijani Turkan Mukhtarova (Georgetown University) does research on gender inequality and violence against women

by Maria Gaglione

published in Avvenire on 24/01/2020

A Bachelor's degree in International Political Relations from the University of Baku in Azerbaijan and a Master's degree in Foreign Service - Economic Development from Georgetown University in Washington. Winner of the Open Society Foundation - Civil Society Leadership Awards, Turkan Mukhtarova is 26 years old and now works as a researcher at the Georgetown Institute of Women, Peace and Security in Washington.

"My research projects examine economic development in relation to gender issues, particularly employment and women's empowerment in violent domestic and social contexts". A few days ago, the Oxfam 2020 report on social and economic inequalities, Time to Care, was published. It pays particular attention "to underpaid domestic work and unpaid care work that burdens women in particular all over the world. A job that consists of taking care of children, the sick and the elderly, doing most of the domestic work, working precariously and being subject to social and family violence, among other things".

"Domestic violence,“ says Turkan “continues to be one of the most serious and widespread forms of human rights violations, especially for women”.

The young researcher takes a step back to accompany us in a reasoning. The experience in the field and many experimental studies show that intervening on gender inequalities and bringing more women into the world of work produces a high return rate in terms of development, especially (but not only) in countries with a high incidence of poverty. Starting with the recognition of care work. It’s a type of work that creates value, but which today is still exploited, invisible, unpaid.

Therefore, investing for and in women is one of the means to correct inequality. Having more women in the world of work improves the living conditions of families, especially of young boys and girls (their nutrition, health and education) and has positive effects on total tax payment, social security and the demand for services.

"The 21st century has led to enormous economic growth throughout the world," Turkan points out. “Standards of living have improved thanks to technological progress and the use of fossil fuels. However, these achievements have cost humanity and our planet a great deal: the Earth is at the limits of sustainability and we are in the era of the most extreme inequality in history".

Turkan sees two possible future scenarios: one speaks of disasters, the other whispers hope.

"As a young researcher I know the difficult situation our planet is in. However, I know that there is a way forward to deal with these problems, starting with me and my work as a scholar".

Rethinking economic models, addressing the issue of work, establishing effective and decisive national and international policies of intervention. "But there are also cultural factors to take into consideration,’ adds Turkan. “WHO estimates that one in three women worldwide has suffered physical or sexual violence in her life. This is a public health problem, a violation of human rights. And very often also a problem of distorted perception by women themselves”. Turkan tells us about a study she carried out (data from the Demography and Health Survey, 2006, Azerbaijan) on the effects of violent domestic contexts on women's work and emancipation, with the perception of violence as her starting point.

Physical, psychological or sexual abuse; aggression, coercion and control attitudes perpetrated on married women. "Studies show that having a higher power of decision on family issues decreases the likelihood of justification for domestic violence by women, while women from poorer families with fewer job and educational opportunities show a higher likelihood of approval of the violence suffered. A perception that represents an obstacle to their emancipation".

Investing in a woman's social and economic capital and facilitating her access to the economic system means improving the lives of women, families and ensuring better opportunities for future generations."Participating in the Economy of Francesco, in order to contribute and learn, will help me understand the causes of inequality, poverty and marginalization that cross borders, cultures and languages around the world. I believe that we can build sustainable societies and develop more just theories and models if we put together some innovative ideas. It is only by understanding the complexities of the world around us that we can define better policies for all.”

One last reflection, a personal one.

"My journey as a young woman from a small town in the Caucasus mountains to the classrooms of one of the world's leading institutions shows that everything is possible in life if there is determination, good leadership and hope. I can't wait to participate in the Economy of Francesco, especially for what will come of it: I'm sure it will be a boost for all of us to be carriers of a new economy, once we return home and wherever life will take us".

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