Trading Stories

Experiences with Gender and Trade

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Through twenty regional and country case studies, Trading Stories pulls together the key links between trade, gender and economic development. Ten case studies focus on the gender impacts of trade policies, detailing differential consequences on men and women; and ten focus on linking women with global markets – including FairTrade, organic, niche and mainstream markets – through a range of best practices involving government, NGOs, people’s organisations and associations, private sector and international agencies.

The book draws on three recent Commonwealth Secretariat publications on gender and trade: Gender Mainstreaming in the Multilateral Trading System; Chains of Fortune: Linking Women Producers and Workers with Global Markets; and Gender and Trade Action Guide and is a useful addition to the growing body of evidence that will help governments to effectively mainstream gender in their trade policy.



Swazi Secrets: Indigenous Products in the Global Marketplace

The global natural products industry, including key subsectors of foods and beverages, cosmetics, herbal medicines and pharmaceuticals, is valued at more than US$65 billion per annum; it is booming, with an annual growth rate of over 15 per cent (Key Note, 2005). In southern Africa, the natural products trade is currently estimated at about US$12 million per annum, but in the long term, if markets are developed, it is estimated that natural products have the potential to generate up to $3 billion (Welford and Le Breton, 2008). PhytoTrade Africa, the trade association of the natural products industry in southern Africa, develops markets for large volumes of sustainably harvested products from several indigenous plant species that grow through out the region.36 Such opportunities have enabled those in smallscale rural communities, especially women, to tap into these markets as an equitable livelihood alternative to meet some of their basic needs, including household food requirements, paying school fees and making family investments such as purchasing livestock. These are resources necessary for the reproduction of physical and social life


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