Gender equality in trade policy

June 23, 2017

Gender equality pledges made domestically or in the framework of regional or multilateral covenants can only be implemented if they are embedded in all policies, including tarde policy. Taking actions to achieve gender equality and empower women in isolation from a braod spectrum of social and economic policies deprives them of the most effective channels to become operational.

Establishing clear links between trade policy and overaching goals, including gender equality and women's economic empowerment, would further contribute to making trade a tool for sustainable development. It is important to recall the importance of trade for domestic producers in reaching much larger markets, for increasing the efficiency of doomestic production and allowing it to attain economies of scale, for being a complement and a condition of the development of countries' productive capacities, as well as one of the channels of technology transfer.

Undoubtedly, many countries have used and continue using trade as a means of development. However, the benefits of trade have to be assessed against its asymmetries and possible negative consequences. A way of doing so is to complement the assessment of the risks and benefits of trade for a country as a whole with an analysis of its potential impacts on different segments of the population, in particular those who risk being "left behind", including women and girls. Such an assessment may lead to the re-thinking of planned trade reforms or may point to the need for accompanying measures. The best approach is to conduct such an assessment prior to introducing new trade measures, be they based on unilateral commitments or negotiations.

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Source- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)