Past Event

Inclusive trade

Gender mainstreaming in trade agreements: “A potemkin facade”

22 September 2022 15:00–16:00

This seminar discusses gender Mainstreaming in Trade Agreements. Even though we are yet to see concrete evidence of benefits that gender mainstreaming in trade agreements can have, more and more countries are embracing this approach. The seminar is fifth in the IDS seminar series on inclusive trade.

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Currently, of all free trade agreements in force, more than 20% have at least one explicit provision relating to gender equality. Yet, almost no trade agreement so far contemplates how gender-related commitments could be implemented or enforced. Most legal provisions incorporated in trade agreements so far have been drafted in the spirit of best endeavor cooperation, and are often blamed for being mere “Cinderella” provisions. This raises an important question: Is “gender mainstreaming” in trade agreements used as a “Potemkin Facade” to hide the negative impact trade agreements and trade liberalization can possibly have on women?


Amrita Bahri, Associate Professor of International Trade Law at ITAM and Co-Chair Professor for WTO Chair Program (Mexico)


Theresa Carpenter, Research Fellow, University of Sussex /Graduate Institute of Geneva

Fred Dzanku, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research


Amrita Saha, Research Fellow, IDS

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