Approaches to gender and trade
From women in development...
The Women in Development Approach (WID), developed in the 1970s and 1980s, focuses on targeting women with specific policies or programmes - for example, by supporting women's entry into the labour market. This approach, which has often been called the 'add women and stir' approach, does not necessarily address the larger framework of trade reform.
...to gender and development
The GAD approach to trade aims to acknowledge the unequal power relations between women and men in terms of access to the resources needed to participate in trading systems, and the distribution of their potential benefits. Related to the GAD approach is 'gender mainstreaming' - a process by which an understanding of gender roles and unequal power relations is incorporated into the design and implementation of all policies and programmes.
The human rights approach
human rights approaches have often been largely insensitive to gender issues due to their perceived 'universality'
Human rights norms and standards can provide a legal check to trade rules and policies. However, human rights approaches have often been largely insensitive to gender issues due to their perceived 'universality'. Women's organisations and gender advocates stress the importance of the Bejing Platform for Action (BPFA) and The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which outline the need to address issues of gender and economic governance as part of women's human rights.
The gender and political economy approach
Feminist researchers and advocates in gender-focused organisations such as the International Gender and Trade Network (IGTN), Development Alternatives and Women for a New Era (DAWN) and Gender and Economic Reform in Africa (GERA) have promoted a new approach that underscores the central role of social reproduction in sustaining the global economic system. A political economy approach emphasises the need to link trade policy, fiscal, monetary, industrial and social processes alongside analysis of global inequalities in order to ensure that the Multi Trading System supports the achievement of gender equality and sustainable human development.