Marilyn Waring

Marilyn Joy Waring, CNZM (born 7 October 1952), is a New Zealand feminist, a politician, an activist for female human rights and environmental issues, a development consultant and United Nations expert, an author and an academic, known as a principal founder of the discipline of feminist economics. A member of the conservative New Zealand National Party, she became at 23 the youngest member of the Parliament of New Zealand in 1975, for Raglan. In 1978 she became the MP for Waipa, and remained in the House of Representatives until 1984. As a member of Parliament, she served as Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee, Senior Government Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the Disarmament and Arms Control Committee, and was the sole woman in the government caucus. Waring precipitated the New Zealand general election, 1984 by threatening to vote for the opposition-sponsored nuclear-free New Zealand legislation, leading Prime Minister Robert Muldoon to call a snap election, stating that Waring's "feminist anti-nuclear stance" threatened his ability to govern. The nuclear-free New Zealand legislation was subsequently enacted by the new Labour government, and has been a sacrosanct touchstone of New Zealand foreign policy since. After leaving politics, Waring obtained a D.Phil. in political economy (1989). Her 1988 book If Women Counted (originally published with an introduction by Gloria Steinem) is a feminist analysis of modern economics, that argues that women's work and the value of Nature are not taken into account. It "persuaded the United Nations to redefine gross domestic product, inspired new accounting methods in dozens of countries and became the founding document of the discipline of feminist economics." Since 2006, Marilyn Waring has been a Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand, focusing on governance and public policy, political economy, gender analysis, and human rights. She has held Fellowships at Harvard and Rutgers Universities. Waring was a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 2005 to 2009, and has worked as a consultant for organizations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women), the Yukon Territorial Government, the Ford Foundation, and the Ontario Provincial Government. Waring's work was the subject of a 1995 film by Oscar-winning director Terre Nash, titled Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics. She became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2008 New Year's Honours List, for her services to women and economics, and was awarded an honorary D.Litt. in 2011. In 2012, she was included on the Wired Magazine Smart List of "50 people who will change the world." An anthology named Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics was published in 2014, with contributions of a diverse group of scholars on advances made in the field since the publication of If Women Counted. Continue Reading »

Counting for Nothing: What Men Value and What Women are Worth

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