The Government Accountability Office (GAO) just released a new report examining the extent to which United States trade preference programs—including the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)—protect and promote women’s rights and economic interests.
CGD Policy Blogs
We’ve spent the past year focusing on beyond aid approaches to promoting gender equality worldwide, through discussions on how to improve outcomes for women and girls in areas ranging from migration to UN peacekeeping forces. Next we’re looking at how trade agreements can help to ensure they benefit women and men equally, whether they participate in the economy as wage workers, farmers, or entrepreneurs. That might take both carrots and sticks—because, at the moment, women are all too likely to lose out.
Knowing in which sectors women-owned businesses cluster can help policymakers identify where their offensive and defensive interests lie so that trade negotiations do not disadvantage women. It would also help in designing capacity-building and other programs to ensure that female-owned businesses can take advantage of new trade opportunities.