Mainstreaming Gender In Trade Agreements

This report is based on an analysis of 73 trade pacts in Commonwealth countries and the results are similar. Only 28% use good practice to address gender concerns, which means they have considerable leeway to improve it. Only 5% are advanced because they use best practices and need little or no valuation, and 40% do not explicitly refer to gender considerations. UNCTAD research in this area analysed productive sectors and their expansion or contraction as a result of trade liberalization and market-opening policy and assessed whether women have benefited or been penalized in terms of employment and training. The international trade centre`s new report, the integration of the gender dimension into free trade agreements, covers 10 key recommendations for the design, content and scope of trade agreements. Trade negotiations and trade agreements are effective instruments for educating women on gender issues and the need for enforceable rules that can help remove barriers to women`s participation in the economy. The future of the international economic order and the multilateral trading system depends on the system`s ability to fairly distribute the benefits of trade among all. That was not the case. The path to gender equality will be difficult and will require sophisticated approaches that address the different realities facing women in different parts of the world, while recognizing the role that policy makers can play in overcoming long-standing practices that oppress or deprive women and girls. For example, studies and reports from the International Trade Centre, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development have shown that trade policies and their instruments, such as trade negotiations and agreements, have had different effects on women and men.

However, the link between trade policy and gender warrants further studies. The ultimate goal should be to integrate gender equality into trade agreements through a comprehensive approach. National governments and global institutions responsible for global governance in this area, particularly the WTO, need a stronger and more thoughtful commitment. However, an integrated approach to gender equality in trade agreements can only be successful if policy makers face the different realities facing women around the world and how different these realities are from nation to nation. Renata holds a doctorate in international commercial law from Maastricht University in the Netherlands and holds a doctorate in law from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil). It has demonstrated an important and fruitful commitment to the World Trade Organization, as well as bilateral trade negotiations and market access to internal trade policy.

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