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BRIDGE Report 42: Global Trade Expansion and Liberalisation: Gender Issues and Impacts

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M. Fontana
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Do women work more or less when countries trade more? Do trade expansion and economic liberalisation affect women and men in different ways'? Case studies from Ghana, Uganda, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Jamaica are used in this report to illustrate some of the gender dimensions relating to trade. Present evidence suggests that, under certain conditions, export expansion can benefit certain groups of younger, more educated women. However in general, the rights of women workers to fair terms and conditions of employment need protection. This report argues that gender analysis is important for understanding trading opportunities, and that benefits of trade expansion are different for women and men. Gender discrimination in the labour market, and access to and control over land needs to be tackled, to reduce women's risk of experiencing losses from trade.

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