Women’s Work: The Impact of Trade on Gender Equality

Workers in the Seagate factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China (Photo by Wikimedia user Robert Scoble, licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0 Attribtion license).
Workers in the Seagate factory in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China (Photo by Wikimedia user Robert Scoble, licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0 Attribtion license).

Since the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women and the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995, many governments and international development institutions have expressed their commitment toward gender equality goals. Most development actors and policymakers, however, remain focused on a narrow interpretation of women’s empowerment and often argue for “investing in women and girls” as a means to achieve poverty reduction and GDP growth, rather than as an end in itself and as a matter of social justice. For example, the main argument behind the slogan “gender equality is smart economics” coined by the World Bank […]

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