WIDE+ together with more than 160 Civil Society associations called on Governments to reject the WTO Declaration on “Women’s Economic Empowerment”

Women’s rights organisations and allies, including WIDE+, called on state parties to the World Trade Organisation to refrain from adopting the proposed “Joint Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment”. This declaration fails to address the adverse impact of WTO rules and instead appears to be designed to mask the failures of the WTO and its role in deepening inequality and exploitation; the letter in full: WTOwomen2017.

On Tuesday the WTO adopted for the first time in its history a Declaration on Women and Trade, which is supported by 118 WTO members and observers. The full statement: https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/mc11_12dec17_e.htm.

The declaration could have been a milestone for the protection of women’s rights, if it wasn’t solely focused on promoting measures for women entrepreneurs and those in small and medium business as well as on removing ‘trade barriers’. In addition, unfortunately the declaration can provide an opening to introduce new issues that push further with a neo-liberal policy.