December 12, 2017 @ 10:45 – December 12, 2017 @ 12:15
Bolsa cereales, Breakout Room 3
in Buenos Aires


Trade policy is not gender neutral. The distributional outcomes of trade vary between women and men, since they play different roles in society and in the economy, and they enjoy different opportunities. If trade policies are designed without taking into account their gender-specific outcomes, these policies risk magnifying existing gender gaps.

Closing gender gaps in the economic domain will not only advance women's economic empowerment but also support progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs.



There are at least three ways for making trade policy more gender sensitive:

  1. Conduct ex-ante gender impact assessments of trade measures. Such assessment may lead to the re-thinking of planned trade reforms, may point to the need for accompanying measures, or may indicate the need for scaling up the trade measures because of their expected positive impact.  UNCTAD's  Trade and Gender Toolbox provides a methodology for carrying out the ex-ante assessment.
  2. Include gender considerations in the text of trade measures. There has been a shift in the way gender issues are addressed in trade agreements. In the past, they were mainly included in the preambles of the agreements or addressed as crosscutting issues. More recently, gender issues are tackled in specific trade and gender chapters, as it is the case of the Chile-Uruguay and Canada-Chile FTAs.​
  3. Ensure policy coherence between trade and other policies. Trade liberalization has created large-scale employment and skill development opportunities for women. Such opportunities have, however, been accompanied by some risks that need to be addressed by appropriate flanking measures. The event will provide the opportunity to discuss the three approaches. The discussion will benefit from the experiences of Finland and Sweden that have made gender equality and women's economic empowerment a pillar of their policies.

Key Issues:

  1. What would make trade policies more gender responsive?
  2. Is the inclusion of trade and gender chapters in "new generation" Free Trade Agreements a revolution?
  3. What are the benefits of conducting a gender assessment of trade measures/agreements prior to their implementation?
  4. Why is it important to ensure policy coherence between trade and other policies?


Related Information:

Expected Outcomes:

Increased understanding of the links between trade, gender and development and of the instruments to advance women's economic empowerment through trade, including in light of the Ministerial Declaration on Trade and Women's Economic Empowerment.​

Interpretation will be provided in French and Spanish​.

*Additional registration required for this event: http://tsds.ictsd.org/register

In Partnership With 

ICTSD Government of Sweden Government of Finland 

​​​​​Co-organized with: UNCTAD, ICTSD, Government of Sweden and Government of Finland

Language(s):English; French; Spanish;

Related Sites: UNCTAD's work related to Gender, Trade and Development
More documents here.