Gender Economics definitions of categories

From the book “Contemporary Global Perspectives in Gender Economics, (Moore, S, 2015) IGI Global, Chapter 1, Gender Economics, an Introduction: To Contemporary Gender Economics”

These category definitions were used at the Global Gender Economics Conference, Sydney 2014, the #GGEC14 and will again be used to guide discussion at the #GGEC19, Melbourne October 2019.


This chapter will introduce a definition of the theory of Gender Economics to create a development pathway for the future study of Gender Economics as a concept. The definition covers Gender Economics and its application in business at a micro level, as well as in policy and economic theory at a macro level. This chapter introduces Diversity Economics, a concept that looks at leveraging innovation and performance from diversity. This chapter firstly defines four major categories of economic activity where this author believes that gender, and particularly women, plays a role, i.e. Investment, Policy, Environment, Innovation and Health. Secondly this chapter details examples from three of category definitions of Gender Economics. 

Keywords: Sociology, Women, Empowerment, Policy, Innovation, Environment, Investment, Health, Sustainability, Legislation, Equity, Equality, Business, Diversity


This chapter is an Introduction to the concepts of Gender Economics and as such, forms a brief overview of the proposed field of Gender Economics by first defining four major areas of economic activity where this author believes that gender, and particularly women, plays a role.   The following categories and sub-categories form the scope of the theory of Gender Economics and highlights areas where further research can be developed.  These are defined below;

Policy – Gendered Policy Formation

  1. The economic impact of gendered policy formation
  2. History of gendered policy formation – understanding how government policy has been formed and its links to economic modeling,
  3. The cost of conflict and inequity to business – Diversity Economics at an organizational level,
  4. Economic modeling theories and gendered assumptions – What do economists have to say about gender,
  5. Activism – how is the rise of activism, including feminism, anti feminist movements, as well as masculinist and anti statism movements influence culture and identifies what maybe the impacts of resultant gendered policy for men and women,
  6. Global policy creation and women of the world – gendered assumptions in global policy and how women are making a difference,
  7. The intersection of race, ethnicity, and gendered identities – how policy formation can degrade the economic rights and freedoms of some minority groups.

Investment – Investment and economic empowerment

  1. Economic empowerment for women – women influencing through increasing education on investment processes, (Female investment), increasing women’s sphere of influence through financial management, and education that leads to increased financial sustainability that includes the impact of poverty and economic growth by giving women greater access to capital.
  2. Investment in women – Women owned enterprises, women entrepreneurs, women in international business environments,
  3. Diversity Economics – Understanding gender diversity and its impact on organizational performance, strategies for realizing benefits, flexibility and the ‘new business transformation’,
  4. Labor force participation – The impact of females on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in Australia and globally, increasing female labor force participation;
  5. Equity in decision making, women on boards, quotas and targets, the ramifications of disrupted working lives and return to work strategies,
  6. The degradation of women’s rights – putting a spotlight on current political activism that has the potential to degrade the rights of women as well as men and developing positive solutions for change.

Environment – Environment and Sustainability

  1. Collaborating in sustainability – Case Studies demonstrating diversity of thought in environmental sustainability, women in agriculture and the environment, reimagining community,
  2. Media – Community consciousness and media, how economics drives media and vice versa,
  3. Gender Exploitation – The treatment of gender as Capital and how its exploitation impacts society and safe workplaces for women,
  4. Human trafficking and violence against women – the Costs of human trafficking, gender interventions, the spread of HIV and other related disease and its economic and human cost.

Innovation and Health – Innovation, Health and Wellness

  1. Innovation – the strategic imperative of Gender Economics and the new business transformation, increasing women’s participation in the resource industry, building healthy communities through engagement equality and equity,
  2. The intersection of age and gender – Barriers and behavioral issues facing women and men as they age and the cost to business of these barriers,
  3. Energy at work- increase productivity by reducing hostility in the workplace, understanding innovative and diverse thought and tapping into feminine qualities to challenge traditional paradigms that limit both men and women.

”Gender Economics is about dissecting and creating a new discourse around economic theory that fuses Economics, Gender and Sociology” (Moore. 2012).

Gender Economics, as defined by this author is gender neutral and looks at all gendered identities, identifying both the positive and negative impact of economics on gender, and of gender on economics.   The author acknowledges this important definition point between the sexes, both male and female, however this chapter will primarily focus on the women’s role in three major categories, Policy, Investment and Environment.

At the macro level, Gender Economics looks at how gender influences economic decisions and how those decisions impact gender.  The way we target gender for economic gain or increased market share can either benefit or degrade the rights of marginalized groups, often leading to policy formation with an underlying gender biasoverlaid with a view on how economics, policy and gender interact with society. This emerging field challenges current economic theory, broadening the conversation to encompasses sociological complexities currently at play in society – i.e.: we look to deconstruct economic policy, reconstructing it in a manner that allows us to develop rational and objective tracks for further research.  Issues of female inequality have persisted for decades if not centuries and instead of talking about the issues, Gender Economics explores underneath the issue and provides new discourses that have the power to change the way we work and live.”

Susanne Moore

Executive Chair and Founder, The Centre for Gender Economics and Innovation, Australia