Free Trade Agreements and Gender (In)Equality: The Possible Gendered Consequences of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement
Abstract: The newly negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) andMercosur has provoked both political and public controversy. Gender equality is one of thecore values of the EU, and a prerequisite for a sustainable development. The connectionbetween gender and trade and the different ways that free trade agreements affects structuresof gender inequalities, are of huge political and theoretical concern. This thesis examines thepossible gendered consequences of the EU-Mercosur Free trade agreement and its impact ongender equality in Mercosur. From an intersectional feminist analysis of the EU-MercosurSustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) and the EU-Mercosur FTA, this study concludes thatthe possible gendered consequences following the agreement are expected to be manifoldwith intersectional variations, where women, in their many roles as employers, consumers,producers and citizens, can be seen as negatively impacted upon by this agreement. Thisthesis findings contributes to the previous critiques given to the lack of gender mainstreamingin SIAs and FTAs, and calls for an intersectional feminist approach to gender mainstreamingof trade policies and free trade agreements, in order to come about gender equality and tomake sure that trade doesn’t infringe on women’s empowerment or women’s human rights.By furthering the knowledge and understandings of trade policies and gender (in)equality, thisthesis seeks to contribute to the work of feminist activists, women’s organisations, unions,and overall civil society, in advocating for a more serious gender approach in all tradeagreements.
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