Gender-related provisions in Regional Trade Agreements

Regional Trade agreements (RTAs) are sometimes viewed as laboratories in which new types of provisions are negotiated to address recent trade-related issues and challenges. A detailed analysis of 556 RTAs, including 292 agreements currently in force and notified to the WTO (as of November 2018), shows that although the inclusion of gender-related provisions in RTAs is not a recent phenomenon, a limited but increasing number of RTAs, namely 74 agreements, refer explicitly to gender-related issues.

These gender-related provisions are highly heterogeneous and differ in terms of location in the RTA, language, scope and commitments. Most gender-related provisions are found in a single or couple of RTAs and couched in best endeavour language. In the last three years, a limited number of RTAs have expanded significantly the scope of gender-related provisions by establishing a dedicated article or chapter on trade and gender.

No: ERSD-2018-15

Authors: José-Antonio Monteiro

Manuscript date: December 2018

Key Words:

Regional Trade Agreements, Gender, Women.

JEL classification numbers:

F13, F15

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This is a working paper, and hence it represents research in progress. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of its author. They are not intended to represent the positions or opinions of the WTO or its members and are without prejudice to members' rights and obligations under the WTO. Any errors are attributable to the author.

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