Trading Stories

Experiences with Gender and Trade

image of Trading Stories
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.



Toehold in India: Women Artisans Exporting Leather Sandals

A significant portion of export earnings in India – estimated at US$2.9 billion in 2004–2005 – comes from products such as curios, fashion accessories, household goods and leather footwear that are handcrafted by artisans in the informal economy. Traditionally, the production of any handcrafted product involves a whole family, with women and men performing different operations in the production process and with men managing markets and finance. Generally, traders control the producers, who fall into debt traps by borrowing from them and are then compelled to produce for a particular trader who has lent them money and accept the minimum price that person offers. The vicious cycle of a trader-dependent market situation is perpetuated and the producer families get caught in a downward spiral.


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