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13 February 2024: First Gender and Trade Coalition Members’ Call

The First Gender and Trade Coalition (GTC) Members’ Call is open to all GTC members and feminist allies. The agenda includes a short teach-in on gender and trade, a stock taking of current trade policy through a critical feminist lens, and reviewing our engagement in upcoming advocacy spaces, including WTO MC13, CSW68, CSTD27, FfD Forum, and the AWID Forum.

Presenters (in order of appearance):

27 April 2022: Trade, Gender and Post-War Recovery, Visioning Feminist Trade Alternatives for Post-War Recovery and Sustainable Peace


20 April 2022: Trade, Gender and Post-War Recovery, Exploring the Intersections


10 November 2021: Food sovereignty and health for all women worldwide, how the EU is blocking it in the WTO

Organised with Forum Umwelt und Entwicklung, WIDE+, WO=MEN, Anders Handeln, and Seattle to Brussels Network, this webinar will ask: Why are vaccines for COVID only available through expensive private companies? Why is the economic system not geared towards producing as many as vaccines possible for as many people worldwide? It will explain why countries in the Global South are proposing a TRIPS waiver for COVID and why the counter arguments of the EU supporting the current global trading rules are based on false assumptions. Aditionally, the webinar will dig deeper into the processes and structure of the WTO, explaining how the EU is continuing to advance global rules that support European business at the expense of women’s access to health and to food.


Moderator: Michelle R. Maziwisa, Research Fellow, Representative at FEMNET

The webinar will be in English with Spanish and German translation. 

21 April 2021: A Gender Just Trade Policy and the EU-Mercosur Agreement

The current draft of the EU-Mercosur agreement includes the common features of a European multilateral free trade agreement, with elements that are expected to harm nature, farmers in different continents and decent livelihoods for indigenous communities. Its impact on gender inequalities are not often discussed. This webinar reflects what a gender just trade policy would entail for the EU-Mercosur agreement and where it falls short.

After a two decade long negotiation, the European Commission concluded talks with the Mercosur countries -Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay- into a deal that has been contested ever since, by the European Parliament and several of the parliaments of the EU member states.

This webinar offered simultaneous interpretation in English and Spanish. This webinar was organized by WIDE+ and the Gender Trade Coalition, in collaboration with Seattle2Brussels.


Moderator: Edmé Dominguez, School of Global Studies, Gothenburg University, Sweden, board member GADIP and WIDE+ 

9 April 2021: Migration and Trade are Feminist Issues! – Women Reframe Global Policy in a COVID World

Global migration and global trade policies may seem very far from the experiences of migrant women around the globe, yet they directly impact migrant women's lives. In the era of globalised economies, nations and corporations depend on a mobile labour force to meet labour demands while migration policies increasingly pose barriers to mobility that criminalize migrants.

States have pushed for free trade of goods, services and capital while excluding dignified mobility for women and their families. Extractive industries and austerity programs push women from their home, while centres of low-wage industry as well as low wage service and agricultural jobs pull women to other countries, often working in hyper-exploitative situations.  Given the role women are often assigned as caregivers (both paid and unpaid) in the global economy, migration and migrant women's work is gendered and racialized.

At this critical juncture in the COVID pandemic we explored how the pandemic, which made visible deep structural inequalities, offered the opportunity for a bottom-up, women-centric approach to international trade and labour architecture.


Moderator: Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Gender & Trade Coalition and Women in Migration Network

Related Links:

18 November 2020: Global trade rules: What does it mean for women in small-scale fisheries?

The policies of globalisation continue to impact all sectors in our economies; the fisheries sector is no exception.  Like its counterpart agriculture, fisheries continue to work quite differently across developed and developing countries. While large scale industrial fishing dominate in many developed and in some developing countries, in most developing countries it is run by numerous small-scale fishers, who often continue to practice traditional or artisanal fishing. The role of women is often undermined in such systems, but in reality they form the backbone of small-scale fisheries. They are not only engaged in fishing, they are also key workers in supportive activities such as fish drying, cleaning, processing, and retailing.

As globalisation expands, trade and investment rules are increasingly being formulated and implemented on the fisheries sector. While the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is currently engaged in negotiating rules to discipline subsidies that lead to overfishing and destruction of marine resources, the political dynamics of the negotiations indicate it may be small fishers and fish-workers who will lose out in the power-play, while benefits, if any, from marine conservation maybe grabbed by large scale fishers. At the same time, an increasing number of bilateral and regional Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are being negotiated globally which target to remove actual import duties allowing free import of fish into many developing countries, creating potential competition for domestic, especially small-scale fishers. The FTAs can also bring in investment liberalisation that allows foreign companies to access national waters as well as coastal land, and remove the policy space of national governments to maximise the benefits from investments through mandated joint ventures and local employment, as well as their ability to nurture and support the development of domestic fleets.

Women fish-workers operate on a small-scale with limited resources and are often affected disproportionately by such rules. Women may also be more dependent on domestic support measures such as subsidies, or community access to land and local markets, which when constrained, can pose major threats to their livelihoods. At the same time, neither the trade rules nor the perishable nature of fish products, make it easier for small players in developing countries to access foreign markets. This webinar discusses this complex issue, bringing together information and analyses on the possible impacts of the current trade agreements on the lives of women small-scale fishers and fish-workers in developing countries.


Moderator: Ranja Sengupta, Senior Researcher and Trade Coordinator, Third World Network

21 July 2020: Mobilising for Feminist Trade Justice within the United Nations

The movement for feminist trade justice is long-standing and growing. Global South feminists have been ringing alarm bells for decades - providing meticulous analysis on the devastating impact of trade liberalization, privatization, and deregulation on poor and marginalized groups of women and demonstrating the inextricable link between the current global trade system, colonialism and imperialism. Whether in the streets, in the halls of government, or in international and multilateral spaces, feminist demands for a human rights-based, transparent and accountable trade system can no longer be ignored. In fact, as the Covid-19 pandemic lays bare, they are now more urgent than ever.

This session explores how the United Nations (UN) human rights system and other UN spaces can be used as a strategic tool by feminists and civil society to demand trade justice and support diverse advocacy actions - including in these times of mostly virtual gatherings. We view this as part of a larger conversation and movement of reclaiming the UN and multilateralism in the service of global solidarity, people, and planet. Speakers will discuss UNCTAD, special procedures, treaty bodies, and the coalition of Feminists for a Binding Treaty relating to the ongoing negotiations for a legally binding instrument to regulate transnational corporations. Input and expertise from participants is warmly welcome!


Moderator: Priti Darooka, Executive Director, Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR) and Founding Member of BRICS Feminist Watch

Suggested Background Materials

23 June 2020: Post-Cotonou Agreement: Cross-Regional Perspectives and Resistance

The impending Post-Cotonou Agreement will define trade and development relations between Europe and 79 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries for the next 20 years. During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, the agreement will determine the capacity of ACP states to exercise their economic sovereignty and shape the path of their own recovery and development. Europe’s negotiating positions push a liberalization agenda through attempts to enhance protection for their investors in ACP markets and secure “undistorted access” to ACP natural resources, effectively reinforcing neo-colonial patterns that ACP governments are concerned to transform. While struggling to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic, state capacity is being drained by negotiations that have shifted online, becoming more secretive and exclusionary of civil society as a result. This cross-regional panel outlines what is at stake in the negotiations, share lessons for mobilization, and proposes alternative progressive and feminist approaches. This discussion was organized by Regions Refocus, co-chair of the Gender and Trade Coalition. 

Speakers: David Abdulah (Movement for Social Justice), Mereoni Chung (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era) Rosalea Hamilton (Caribbean Philanthropic Alliance), Tetteh Hormeku-Ajei (Third World Network-Africa), Maureen Penjueli (Pacific Network on Globalisation) 

Moderator: Anita Nayar (Regions Refocus)

Related links:

5 June, 2020: Trading Away Women's Rights: How free trade has undermined women’s human rights both before and during the pandemic

Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), the reach and depth of trade liberalisation has intensified around the world, undermining the rights outlined in the BPfA, whilst cementing corporate power and exacerbating existing inequalities within and between countries. The on-going Coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the situation and reveal the precariousness of the global-value chain and the multilateral trade systems are as a whole. The pandemic further illustrates the importance of the call that the feminists movement has been demanding; a feminist trade justice agenda that will remedy inequalities, ensure gender-responsive public services and infrastructure, promote and protect women's human rights, both in this time of pandemic and the time to come after.

Speakers: Lebohang Liepollo Pheko (WIMN), Diyana Yahaya (APWLD), Nandini Chami (IT for Change), Nayareth Queved (PSI-Chile), Michelle R. Maziwisa (African Women’s Development and Communication Network, FEMNET)

Moderator: Mariama Williams (The South Centre)

17 December, 2019: Will the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) promote women's rights? Unpacking the new generation of mega trade deals 

In collaboration with APWLD and Third World Network, the GTC hosted a webinar analysing the gendered impacts of the RCEP, which was been under closed negotiation since 2012 between the 10 Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) governments and their six Free Trade Agreement partners: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. By working to expanding liberalisation and deregulation, the RCEP will deeply impact the over 1.1 billion women falling under its jurisdiction, particularly women farmers and workers, and urban poor, rural, and Indigenous women who are already grappling with the devastating impacts of WTO rules.  

Speakers: Arieska Kurniawati (Solidaritas Perempuan, Indonesia), Anita Gurumurthy (IT for Change), Kartini Samon (GRAIN), Diyana Yahaya (APWLD)

Moderator: Kate Lappin (Public Service International)

18 September, 2019: Does the digital economy promote women's rights? Unpacking the myths

In collaboration with WIDE+ and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the GTC hosted a webinar unpacking the dominant discourse in trade and economic policy spaces: that digitalisation of the economy will automatically empower women from the global South by opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurship and flexible employment. In reality, e-commerce brings forth a new kind of corporation that thrives on controlling data and reorganises supply chains by creating or expanding precarious and cheap labour opportunities, for which women are particularly vulnerable. As currently configured, it is another avenue to promote neoliberal economic and trade models that prioritise narrowly defined economic growth and profit maximisation over people's wellbeing and human rights. The webinar also imagined feminist trade and economic policies to regulate the digitalisation of our economies in a way that empowers all women. 

Speakers: Nandini Chami (Digital Justice Project), Scheaffer Okore (Ukweli Party, Kenya), Sofia Scasserra (World Labor Institute “Julio Godio,” Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, UNTREF, Argentina, and FAECYS – Presidency UNI Global)

Moderator: Crystal Dicks (University of Witwatersrand)