workshop

Workshop on Gender in Trade Agreements

At the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference, the majority of WTO Members joined the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Signatories have specifically agreed to explore the links between trade and women's empowerment through dedicated events, discussions and exchange of information.

As part of this objective, Iceland, Botswana and UNCTAD in cooperation with the WTO and the ITC would like to invite you to a workshop on Gender Considerations in Trade Agreements on 28 March 2019, at the WTO, Room W (reception to follow in the Atrium).

The workshop will explore the role for trade agreements in promoting gender equality; it will analyse how gender has been integrated in FTAs, regional integration agreements and preferential trade schemes; and will discuss what has been achieved so far.  The workshop will also reflect on new ideas on how the inclusion of gender issues in trade agreements may be made more impactful for women.

Background: The Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment was launched at the WTO’s 11th Ministerial Conference in 2017. The Declaration was drafted by the Trade Impact Working Group that is co-chaired by Botswana, Iceland and the International Trade Centre and that was established under the auspices of the International Gender Champions-Geneva.  So far 123 WTO members and observers have joined the Declaration.

Programme

10.00-10:30

Opening session

  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, WTO
    Speech
  • Harald Aspelund, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO, Iceland
  • Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD
  • Sefatlhego Matebekwane, Agricultural Attachée, on behalf of Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Botswana
  • Arancha González, Executive Director, ITC
Audio

10.30-11.45

Session 1 - What role for trade agreements in promoting gender equality: A dialogue

Issues for discussion

The trade community is recognizing that trade policy can be used as a tool to empower women. This represents a drastic change in mindset. There is a rather long tradition to include "non-trade concerns" - such as labour rights, human rights and environmental protection, in trade agreements. The session will discuss the similarities and the differences between "non-trade concerns", including gender equality and women's empowerment, and the lessons learned from previous experiences. It will also discuss how an inclusive trade negotioations process affects the outcome.

Moderator

  • Susan Barton, Head of Trade Policy and Gender Strategy, Department for international Trade, United Kingdom

Speakers

  1. Nazhat Shameem Khan, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Fiji
  2. Mariama Williams, Senior Programme Officer, Global Governance for Development Programme, South Centre
  3. Lorand Bartels, Reader in International Law, Fellow of Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge
  4. Elizabeth Echeverria Manrique, Research Officer on Labour Law, Research Department, ILO

Q&A Session

Audio

11.45-13.00

Session 2 - Gender considerations in FTAs, regional integration agreements and preferential trade schemes. What are the provisions and what has been achieved so far?

Issues for discussion

The session will look at what are the most common gender commitments included in trade agreements and analyse the new trend of addressing gender equality issues in specific trade and gender chapters. In addition to FTAs, several regional integration treaties include commitments to gender equality and women's empowerment. The session will explore the similarities and differences in the gender results across regions and single out the possible drivers. The session will also take stock of what has been achieved so far through different initiatives.

Moderator

  • Ruth Rubio Marin, Professor, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Speakers

  1. José Antonio Monteiro, Research Economist, Economic Research and Statistics Division, WTO
    Presentation
  2. Simonetta Zarrilli, Chief, Trade, Gender and Development Programme, UNCTAD
    Presentation
  3. David Luke, Coordinator, African Trade Policy Centre, UN Economic Commission for Africa
    Presentation

Q&A Session

Audio

13.00-15.00 Lunch

15.00-16.15

Session 2 (continued): Gender considerations in FTAs, regional integration agreements and preferential trade schemes. What are the commitments and what has been achieved so far?

Speakers

  1. André-François Giroux, Director, Inclusive Trade Division, Global Affairs Canada
    Presentation
  2. Carlos Amorín, Ambassador and Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uruguay
  3. Ignacia Simonetti, Head, Gender Department, Directorate of International Economic Relations, Chile (via video link)
    Presentation

Q&A Session

Audio

16.15-17.30

Session 3 - Reflections on new ideas on gender in trade agreements

Issues for discussion

Many countries have a strong political will to use trade agreements to contribute to achieving gender equality and women's empowerment. The session will discuss how the gender commitments included so far in trade agreements could be made bolder and what will be needed to make the inclusion of gender considerations in trade agreements a "game changer" for women.

Moderator:

  • Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD

Speakers

  1. Madeleine Tuininga, Head of Unit, DG Trade, European Commission
  2. Carolyn Rodrigues Birkett, Director, FAO Liaison Office in Geneva
    Presentation
  3. Barbara MacLaren, Gender specialist, The Conference Board of Canada (via video link)
  4. Jaime de Melo, Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international (FERDI), and emeritus University of Geneva
    Presentation

Q&A Session

Audio Session 3 and Closing

17.30-18.00

Wrap up and Closing Session

Moderator

  • Harald Aspelund, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Iceland

Speakers:

  • Susan Barton, Head of Trade Policy and Gender Strategy, Department for international Trade, United Kingdom
  • Ruth Rubio Marin, Professor, School of Transnational Governance, European University Institute, Florence, Italy
    Presentation
  • Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General, UNCTAD
Audio Session 3 and Closing

18.00-19.00

Reception

Registrations: if you don't have a WTO badge, please send an email to trade-gender@wto.org with your name and organisation (subject line: BA Declaration 28-03) by 18:00 on Monday 25 March.

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