'Gender equality', 'gender balance' and 'women's empowerment' are powerful ideas that increasingly permeate global economic policy. While gender mainstreaming has been the norm in the fields of development, aid, and finance for many decades, the idea that the gendered impacts of trade policy need to be addressed arrived late to global policymaking. What is more, different actors adopt different types of gender and trade initiatives ranging from best endeavour commitments, to knowledge production and the development of gender-disaggregated methodological tools and data, to capacity building and micro-interventions in developing countries. Across global governance, there is growing recognition that progressive trade policy must be gender-sensitive. Current gender-sensitive trade policy initiatives are aimed at supporting women's economic empowerment, closing gaps in welfare distribution and gender inequalities, and minimizing the adverse impacts of trade liberalization on vulnerable women.
This project will assess the current state of research knowledge and scope existing policy initiatives in the field of gendering global trade governance in order to address two key questions: How can future Canada-UK trade cooperation best pursue gender-sensitive, socially progressive policies? How can Canada and the UK be established as leaders in this global policy field? The project will assess the state of knowledge and policy practice on (1) gender mainstreaming in global economic governance; (2) how different national and international institutions translate the idea of gendering trade into specific policies; (3) what are the lessons-learned of existing trade and gender initiatives by members of national and international policy communities. Based on this research, we will identify the most promising policies and practices and indicate areas that require more data and research in order to contribute evidence for future Canada-UK trade policymaking.
Its deliverables are as follows:
1. Gendering Global Trade: Knowledge Synthesis Report. A synthesis and appraisal of the gender and trade literature and of related bodies of academic literature across the disciplines of International Political Economy (IPE), gender studies, development studies, and business studies (15 August, 2018).
2. Gendering Global Trade: Scoping Review. A mapping of existing gendering global trade initiatives taken by various national governments, IGOs and NGOs, and synthesis of firsthand accounts of experiences and best practices with gendering global trade by members of national and international policy communities (15 October, 2018).
3. Gendering Global Trade: Policy Recommendations. Best practices for Canada-UK trade cooperation and leadership based on triangulation of data sources gathered through Knowledge Synthesis and Scoping (15 November, 2018).