- Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Women in Migration Network (WIMN) – Setting out how the BPfA addresses trade and macroeconomics, where the gaps lie, and what the current pandemic means for the BPfA in its going forward.
- Nayareth Quevedo, Public Service International (PSI)-Chile – New research on trade impacts on public services, what this means further under the current pandemic
- Nandini Chami, IT for Change – Why digital trade policy contestations matter for women’s rights, especially in the current pandemic.
- Diyana Yahaya, Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development (APWLD) – Spotlight on RCEP and how investment provisions in various FTAs and BITs can threaten government’s actions during this time of pandemic.
- Michelle R. Maziwisa, African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) – The AfCFTA: Questions that women should be asking.
- Mariama Williams, South Centre
Since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA), the reach and depth of trade liberalisation has intensified around the world. Rather than contributing to the fulfilment of women’s rights in line with Beijing and wider women’s rights commitments; including access to land, access to decent work, redressing women’s unequal share of unpaid care and domestic work through access to gender-responsive public services and infrastructure, and ensuring the right to health through affordable medicines, free trade deals and policies often undermine these rights, whilst cementing corporate power and exacerbating existing inequalities within countries and between Global North and Global South.
The on-going Coronavirus pandemic has further revealed the precariousness of the global-value chain and weak public infrastructure promoted by the privatizations and liberalization that the current trade and economic system, and the disproportionate impact it has brought to women. It has also revealed how precarious this hyper globalized world and the multilateral trade systems are as a whole. In this context, the pandemic also highlights the importance of the call that the feminists movement has been demanding; a feminist trade justice agenda that will remedy inequalities within and between countries, between rich and poor, and between men and women, both in this time of pandemic and the time to come after.