Women and Trade

The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality

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Trade can dramatically improve women’s lives, creating new jobs, enhancing consumer choices, and increasing women’s bargaining power in society. It can also lead to job losses and a concentration of work in low-skilled employment. Given the complexity and specificity of the relationship between trade and gender, it is essential to assess the potential impact of trade policy on both women and men and to develop appropriate, evidence-based policies to ensure that trade helps to enhance opportunities for all. Research on gender equality and trade has been constrained by limited data and a lack of understanding of the connections among the economic roles that women play as workers, consumers, and decision makers. Building on new analyses and new sex-disaggregated data, Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality aims to advance the understanding of the relationship between trade and gender equality and to identify a series of opportunities through which trade can improve the lives of women.

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Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Gender Equality is a joint report by the World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Maria Liungman and Nadia Rocha from the World Bank and José-Antonio Monteiro and Roberta Piermartini from the WTO coordinated the report. The team is grateful for the guidance and support of our World Bank colleagues—Caroline Freund, Global Director, Trade, Investment and Competitiveness; William Maloney, Chief Economist for Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions; the World Bank gender group under the leadership of Caren Grown, Global Director Gender; and Antonio Nucifora, Practice Manager Trade and Regional Integration Unit—and our WTO colleagues Aegyoung Jung, Chief Legal Advisor to the Director-General; and Robert Koopman, Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division.

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