This study was commissioned by the Social Development Division of the Department for International Development (DFID), UK, to assess the current state of knowledge about gender inequality and trade, to inform the development of policy in this area and to identify areas for future, policy relevant research. It is largely based on existing literature and analysis of secondary data, as well as on information from selected stakeholder organisations, including international agencies and non-governmental organisations.
A team of gender specialists and economists prepared the report, the draft version of which formed the basis of discussion for a workshop convened at DFID in October 1997. A summary of discussions and list of participants are appended to the report.
Concern with the coherence of development co-operation and broader economic co-operation policies are growing. Contributing to this debate, the report highlights areas where existing databases need to be strengthened in respect of gender issues. Given that this is a relatively new area of inquiry, there is also a need to develop the methodological framework to enable more rigorous analysis. For these reasons, only provisional conclusions can be drawn at this stage requiring further empirical investigation and verification.