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Integrating Gender in Trade Policy in Peru and Colombia: A Study Tour

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Integrating Gender in Trade Policy in Peru and Colombia: A Study Tour

Published: September 16, 2013

In 2012, The North-South Institute (NSI) began a capacity-building project to leverage the opportunities provided by Canada’s free trade agreements with Peru and Colombia with the goal of reducing gender inequality in those two countries.

In order to address the multiplicity of policy variables available and to provide a gender perspective on trade policy, NSI selected a small group of Peruvian and Colombian businesswomen and policy-makers to come to Canada to complete a week-long study tour to learn from public officials, academics, businesswomen, and development non-governmental organizations about how similar issues are treated in the country. We hoped that the tour would allow cross-learning among individuals from both Latin American countries and offer opportunities to reflect on their policy realities while learning from a different one.

The core message of the study tour for the participants and readers of this report is that there is not a single way to promote gender equity considerations within trade promotion policies and policies associated with economic growth. Different combinations can best fit distinct national realities, provided that they are always accompanied by complementary policies like the protection of labour rights, education promotion, infrastructure building and improvement, specific sectoral policies for productive sectors, entrepreneurship programs, and security/anti-violence programs. The challenge for decision makers is to link all these issues together through effective public policies and budgets.

This document summarizes the comprehensive discussions held during the week-long study tour by the selected 10 Peruvian and Colombian participants and numerous Canadian government officials, academics, trade promotion specialists, non-governmental organization gender officials, and businesswomen.

Author: Nathan Bowers-Krishnan

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