13 Apr, 2021

Renew Europe demands gender perspective in trade policy

On 12 April, the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament shared a new position paper on Gender and Trade, focused on empowering women through trade and tackling gender inequality.

Women have diverse roles in society as related to trade – as entrepreneurs, employees and consumers. Trade can also be a way to promote gender equality and improve access to skills development and education for women. 

"Incorporating gender mainstreaming in trade policy is crucial. Women worldwide have enormous potential to contribute to the economy and society. Let’s empower women through trade", said Samira Rafaela MEP (D66), lead on the position paper.

Renew Europe welcomes the European Commission’s commitment to include gender provisions in free trade agreements with third countries, including in the framework of negotiation on the EU-Chile FTA modernisation. This is an important first step and Renew Europe will be vigilant and play a watchdog role on the issue of gender during the negotiations.

Data shows that businesses that are active in international trade tend to employ more women. Moreover, societies that are open to trade are relatively more equal than less open economies. However, there remains much more work to be done to achieve economic equality for women. In some cases where female employment is high, women often hold low quality or more precarious jobs as compared to their male counterparts, such as in the textile industry and other industries affected by COVID-19 related volatility.

Therefore, Renew Europe has called on the European Commission to include a gender perspective in the upcoming EU legislation on mandatory due diligence. Women’s economic inclusion is crucial to global economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and beyond. For this, women must gain the tools needed to increase their contributions to trade, for the benefit of all.

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