THE POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TRANSFORMATION OF WOMEN IN FEMINIST THEORY

M. ALİ SAĞLAM

Feminist theory, which advocates gender equality in the political, social and economic spheres, strives to create content that mainly discusses women's efforts in achieving gender equality. Feminist theory handles with the issues such as productive/unproductive labor market, domestic labor/non-domestic labor, wage inequality based on gender, division of labor based on gender which are the primary subject matters of the integrated field of gender and political economy through the theoretical currents developing in this body of knowledge. Feminist theories questions these issues without isolating themselves from their originary ideological perspectives. Differentiated feminist theories are reduced in four currents in this study to be analyzed in terms of their views on these above issues. 

Liberal feminist theorists, problematizing the female subject through the doctrine of natural rights, discuss gender inequality within capitalism. In contrast, Marxist feminists have contributed to the feminist theory on alienation, division of labor, class-based forms of exploitation using the historical materialist perspective. Radical feminists and gender binary system theorists, emerging from new social movements, have been inspired by the Marxist theory; however, they have left a significant trace in the feminist theory, surpassing this inspiration. Radical feminists, whose focal point in discussion is the patriarchal system, have observed that any kind of inequality is derived from this approach and that the solution is the eradication of the patriarchal system. On the other hand, gender binary system theorists suggesting that both capitalist system and patriarchal system leads to gender inequality have built the solution on transforming this binary system.  The main subject matter of the present study is to exhibit the perspectives of different feminist theories on the reflections of gender inequality in political economy. The study tries to clarify how these four feminist theoretical currents approaches the primary subjects of feminist economics such as labor market, domestic and non-domestic labor processes, division of labor based on gender, wage inequality based on gender.  In this context, the researcher attempted to form a framework, based on the analysis of texts written by theorists and mainly on the suggestion of gender binary system theorists.

Keywords: Feminist Economics, liberal feminism, Marxist feminism, patriarchal