The North-South Institute


Gender Equality and Trade

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Women are key players in domestic and international trade and evidence suggests that a country’s growth and economic performance is heightened when women are able to more productively engage with and benefit from trade.

But in many places women experience gender-related constraints. For example, women have less access to credit to grow their businesses, experience higher levels of harassment and corruption when trading and often have less access to information about trading regulations and opportunities.

Failing to tackle these constraints can further entrench existing gender inequalities. It can also limit economic productivity and the opportunity for countries to reap the full benefits of international trade. This means that there are compelling economic and equity reasons for taking action.

NSI provides evidence-based, practical guidance on how gender can be integrated into trade-related policies and programs.


Improving the Capacity to Act on Gender Equality in Colombia: A Fresh Look at the Coffee Export Sector, led by Barbara MacLaren (NSI) and Pablo Heidrich (NSI), 2014.

Gender and Trade in the Americas: A Trilateral Capacity Building Project, led by Pablo Heidrich (NSI), Paola Ortiz (Carleton University) and Barbara MacLaren (NSI), 2013.

Thinking Equal on Trade: Supporting Women and the Economy, led by Kate Higgins (NSI), 2012.

Gender Equality Rights and Trade Regimes: Coordinating Compliance, led by Pitman B. Potter (UBC) & Heather Gibb (NSI) with Erika Cedillo, 2012.


For more information, please contact:

Barbara MacLaren