WTO Chairs in Mexico, Barbados, and Chile launch publication on Inclusiveness, Trade Policy, and Gender Equality

Friday, September 15, 2023

On 15 September 2023, the WTO Chairs in Mexico and Barbados, Amrita Bahri and Jan Yves Remy launched the publication "Trade Policy and Gender Equality" at the WTO Public Forum 2023. The book was conceived as part of a broader project on gender and trade in the Americas, organized by the two Chairs as well as Dorotea López Giral, WTO Chair in Chile.

The project was launched with the support of the WCP's donors, in particular France and the Netherlands, alongside Austria, Australia, and the Republic of Korea. The three WTO Chairs collaborated in order to produce different outputs including training modules, a series of seminars, as well as an edited volume on trade and gender.

Delivering the keynote speech at the launch, WTO Deputy Director-General, Xiangchen Zhang said, "This book represents a fantastic attempt to offer an all-encompassing, interdisciplinary approach to trade and gender issues and is a toolkit of trade policy ideas for decision makers around the world to ensure that trade delivers its promised benefits to all."

Moderating the session, the Permanent Representative of France to the WTO, Ambassador Etienne Oudot de Dainville emphasized that "Women economic empowerment will bring greater benefit to the world economy and to each individual country. Closing the gender gap between men and women could raise the GDP of poorer countries by up to 35% in the long run."

Speaking during the panel discussion, Simonetta Zarrilli from UNCTAD said, "The export sector in many countries has low representation of women. For a stronger research and policy foundation, it is essential that policy makers have access to instruments that can support research, data and capacity building. This would enable them to use both qualitative and quantitative information for trade policies that are gender responsive."

The editors of the book envision that the publication will enable readers to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between trade and gender with a focus on the role of women in the economy and how gender-responsive and gender-inclusive trade agreements can be instruments for international cooperation within the existing multilateral trading system. It is open access and will soon be available for download on the Cambridge University Press website.