WTO online working session: “Examining Gender, Trade and Development in the global trading system”

Language: English, French and Spanish
16.30-17.30  Central European Time, Friday 1 October 2020

Online registration possible up to 27 September, free event

This online session will discuss recent policy developments and its impact on gender equality in global trade in the context of COVID-19. The pandemic has sharply increased the gender divide, pushed women in their economic and social spaces even further to the bottom, while interacting with global trade policy that has played a crucial role in the pandemic.

The session will reflect on the TRIPS-waiver proposal, women in agriculture, new issues such as e-commerce and related topics that are on the agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO). We will lay out snapshots of the impacts of the pandemic and its interaction with trade policy on women’s lives in multiple sectors and multi-layered contexts, and will identify proposals for trade policy measures that promote women’s rights and social justice.

Organised by: Gender and Trade Coalition (GTC), WIDE+, FEMNET, WIMN, supported by Third World Network.

Ambassador Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter
| Permanent Mission of South Africa, WTO

Gita Sen | General Coordinator DAWN
Michelle R. Maziwisa | Research Fellow, representative FEMNET
Sofia Scasserra  | Associate Researcher, TNI

Gea Meijers | Trade Policy Coordinator, WIDE+
Lebohang  Liepollo Pheko  | Senior Research Fellow, representative of WIMN

Diyana Yahaya | member Gender & Trade Coalition

About the Speakers

Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the WTO at the Permanent Mission of South Africa to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva. Previously, she served as the Deputy Director-General (DDG) for International Trade and Economic Development (ITED) at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). She was responsible for managing South Africa’s trade and investment policy development and was also responsible for leading South Africa’s international negotiations on these matters at bilateral, regional  and multilateral levels at an official level since she joined dti in 2005.

Gita Sen is an Indian feminist scholar. She is a Distinguished Professor & Director at the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity & Social Determinants of Health, at the Public Health Foundation of India. She is also an adjunct professor at Harvard University, a Professor Emeritus at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and the General Coordinator of DAWN.

Michelle Rufaro Maziwisa is a postdoctoral research fellow under the South African Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law and Development at the Dullah Omar Institute for Constitutional Law, Governance and Human Rights, University of the Western Cape. Her research focus includes the functions and powers of provincial and local governments in international trade and investment. She is an admitted attorney, and a member of the African Feminist Network, FEMNET.

Sofia Scasserra is an associate researcher with the Transnational Institute (TNI) and specialises on digital economy, labor and development. She is a researcher at the World Labor Institute at Universidad Nacional Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) in Argentina.  She is also advisor to the international trade union movement and in the Argentine Senate.

About the discussants:

Gea Meijers is coordinator at WIDE+, Women In Development Europe, and an active member of its Gender and Trade working group as well as steering group member on behalf of WIDE+ in the Gender Trade Coalition.
Lebohang  Liepollo Pheko is Senior Research Fellow at Trade Collective, a member of feminist formations GTC, WIMN and South Feminist Futures an works at the intersection of feminist economics, migration and international trade

About the moderator:

Diyana Yahaya is a feminist activist and member of the Gender Trade Coalition. Previously she was a programme officer at the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law & Development (APWLD), researching gender impacts of trade policy and promoting feminist alternatives to current trade agreements at different levels.

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