Trade and Gender: Issues and Interactions
Increased global integration affects groups of individuals differently. This paper examines ways in which greater integration through trade impacts women and men differently, and ensuing implications for growth. The paper finds that trade creates jobs for women in export-oriented sectors. Jobs that bring more household resources under women’s control lead to greater investments in the health and education of future generations. Although women are more than ever formally employed, differences in wages earned by men and women persist in all countries. Women also have less access to productive resources, time and, particularly in many developing countries, education. Professional women continue to encounter discrimination in hiring and promotion, including in OECD countries. The impact of trade liberalisation on women is important not only because they represent over half of any population, but also because they face constraints which make them less able to benefit from liberalisation. Once different impacts are ascertained, well-designed policy responses may aid women in taking advantage of greater openness to trade.
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