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News Brief: Industrial Trade Liberalisation and Gender Implications

Online Publication Date: 27 August 2012
A New Brief published by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and Third World Network on “Industrial Trade Liberalisation and Gender Implications: Developing Countries and India“, which looks at the issue of gender impacts of trade liberalisation in the industrial sector, is the fifth part of a series of briefs on gender impacts of trade, with reference to developing countries and India.

The brief tracks industrial trade liberalisation under the WTO, FTAs, India’s autonomous liberalisation and export promotion, and outlines issues related to women’s jobs in export oriented industries such as garments, leather, gems and jewellery in developing countries and Asia. But despite the higher number of jobs and employment, they still face casual work, growing informalisation, piece rate work, wage differences compared with men, precarious and unhealthy working conditions, inadequate maternity and other benefits including leaves, and still have to cope with most of the work at home. Because jobs are largely informal, women lose disproportionately higher number of jobs and face wage cuts under any form of crisis, e.g. a financial crisis.

The brief highlights how the pliant and flexible nature of women workers has been used as adjustment tools to cope with volatilities in trade related demand and maintain competitive advantage. The liberalisation package under the WTO and FTAs aggravate the situation of cut throat competition among developing countries.

The full paper is available at: http://twn.my/title2/women/2011/a.economic/HBF-TWN/Trade_and_Gender_Brief_India_TWN-HBF_Vol_V_Industry.pdf


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