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Trade Editorial

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This issue of Oxfam's journal Gender and Development looks at two key linkages between gender and trade. Firstly it explores how international trade relies on an unequal division of labour between women and men, and secondly, how trade agreements have impacts on gender equality within national contexts. The implications for human development of a trading system which prioritises exports over food security and sustainability are that some groups in developing countries - women and the poor - bear the brunt of the costs of trade liberalisation. This editorial outlines the role of the WTO in regulating global trade. It explains how these rules are not in fact neutral, but have an impact on the labour force in their demand for greater flexibility and a weakening of protection for workers. The negative impact of the changes in export production on women producers include collapsing markets for small producers, increased living costs and cuts in social spending.The articles in this issue of the journal include contributions from academics, policy advisers and trade union campaigners. They explore new evidence, tools and strategies in social organising and lobbying. They include articles on:• Women workers, informal employment, home work and corporate responsibility.• Women entrepreneurs in Botswana• Trade agreements in the EU and the Americas• TRIPs• Migration• The development agenda•