Research shows that trade creates better jobs for women. Companies that export employ more women, pay them higher wages, and offer better benefits and job security. Photo: © Khasar Sandag/IFC
Trade can dramatically improve women’s lives, creating new jobs, enhancing consumer choice, and increasing women’s bargaining power in society. But women’s relationship with trade is complex, as it can also lead to job losses and a concentration of work in lower-skilled jobs To ensure that trade enhances opportunities for everyone—regardless of gender—policymakers should assess the potential impact of trade rules on various groups of people and develop policy responses based on evidence.
Research on gender equality and trade has been held back by limited data and a lack of understanding of the connections between the economic roles women play as workers, consumers, and decision makers. Building on new analysis and new sex-disaggregated data, this report aims to advance understanding on the relationship between trade and gender equality and to identify a series of opportunities through which women can gain from trade.
Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Women’s Equality—a joint report by the World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization—marks the first major effort to quantify how women are affected by trade through the use of a new gender-disaggregated labor dataset. This analysis helps governments understand how trade policies will affect women and men differently.