Valerie Hughes writes on Gender Chapters in Trade Agreements: Nice Rhetoric or Sound Policy? for the Centre for International Governance Innovation. In 2019, three bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) containing the very first dedicated trade and gender chapters entered into force—between Canada and Chile, Chile and Argentina, and Canada and Israel.
Valerie describes several reasons that gender chapters in trade agreements represent sound policy:
- they are as a positive step forward in efforts to promote women’s economic empowerment;
- they raise awareness of and give credibility to the gender perspective in economic and trade issues, and encourage other countries to follow suit; and
- concrete activity by the Canada-Chile Trade and Gender Committee is underway, including a capacity-building workshop and the publication of a two-year work plan.
Valerie says negotiating more FTAs with dedicated trade and gender chapters is to be encouraged. Even more useful would be gender mainstreaming, which means including gender-related provisions throughout FTAs.