WG Gender and Trade

This thematic WG monitors EU trade policy from a feminist perspective, develops public positions and analysis on EU trade and gender issues. It also contributes to global advocacy to promote a feminist perspective in trade policy.

The Group is a mixture of WIDE+ experts, international experts, Civil Society and Trade Unionists representatives. It welcomes non-members to join the group. The group meets mostly through zoom with an active e-list. It currently meets 4-6 times per year online.

You can contact WIDE+ coordinator: Gea Meijers, info@wide-network.org for more information and when you are interested to take part.

Lives of many women are impacted by the internal and external (trade) rules which the EU and other European countries have come to agreements about. They are renegotiated through new trade agreements and other economic policies (e.g. monetary and the internal market policies).

The group is working towards changing the trade policy of the EU and its member states so that women’s rights are respected. The members undertake a lot of awareness raising and alliance building but also produce briefings, public letters, lobby and speak at meetings.

Past activities: 


Stop the EU-Mexico and EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreements: WIDE+ co-organizer Trade Justice Events on the margins of the EU CELAC Summit. On 17 and 18 July several WIDE+ members participated online and face to face. The meetings brought many activists across Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. People can re-watch the public event in the European Parliament with many testimonies from experts and activists in the ECLAC countries.

Position Paper by the EU-LAC Working Group “Latin, America, Caribbean and the EU: towards a real renewed partnership”. WIDE+ is member of the working group that published it: https://wideplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Position-Paper-EULAC-WG-1.pdf 




  • WIDE+ response to non-paper by 10 EU member states around promoting gender equality through trade policy: a step back for women’s rights, November 2020, read here.
  • WIDE+ initiated a Public Letter to the European Commission to ask for support waiver in WTO for the prevention, containment & treatment of COVID-19, November 2020, read here.
  • WIDE+ and Action Aid’s contribution to the EU Trade Strategy Review, September 2020.
  • WIDE+ organized Webinar: “Feminist grassroots perspectives on trade policy”, 30 September 2020 as part of the Geneva Trade Week, available in Spanish, view here.
  • WIDE+ presented during Polis180 online Policy Kitchen on a Foreign Feminist (trade) Policy, April 2020, read here.


  • New (Dutch) publication from WIDE+, WO=MEN, Action Aid and Both Ends on how through trade policy women have become a bargain deal for large transnational companies, 2019, read here.
  • WIDE+ workshop: ‘Trade, digital Economy and Women’s access to Decent work’, at the WTO Public Forum, Friday 11 October 2019, listen online.
  • WIDE+ in collaboration with others has sent a critical letter to European Union commissioner Malmström, about the conference “Trade for Her” on 30 September 2019: Read More
  • Video of Gender and Trade Strategy session at @IAFFE2019, 28 June, 2019, co-organised by WIDE+ with presentation.

WIDE+ helped organize an UN-CSW side event: “Ensuring gender just trade: challenges and ways forward”,  2019, jointly organized by UNCTAD and the Gender and Trade Coalition with the support of OWIT and WIDE+: https://wp.me/p2KSLS-TB

“Show me the rest of the agreement!” Global Feminist Alliance for Trade Justice: Gender and Trade coalition launch meeting, 2019, report by WIDE+ member Claudia Thallmayer, https://wp.me/p2KSLS-TE


  • WIDE+ coordinated a Civil Society strategy meeting around the international conference organized by the WTO, the World Bank group and the Dutch Foreign Ministry “Closing the Gender Gap”, December 2018
  • WIDE+ Briefing Paper on Transforming EU Trade Policy to protect Women’s Rights (EN, DE, ES, FR) 2018, https://wp.me/p2KSLS-Pb
  • CONCORD-WIDE+ Joint Position Paper calls on the EU to move beyond voluntary gender articles in EU trade agreements, https://wp.me/p2KSLS-MA.
  • WIDE+ Gender and Trade WG drafted a briefing paper on gender in EU trade agreements for the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, finalized April 2018.
  • WIDE+ joins new call for Binding Human Rights Treaty to (transnational) companies, https://wp.me/p2KSLS-Ni

WIDE+’s WG advocacy towards European Parliament resolution Gender in EU Trade Agreements concluded with resolution accepted, March 2018. The European Parliament accepted in March 2018 with great majority the draft motion: “Gender in EU Trade Agreements”. The motion was accepted by 512 MEPS, 107 were against, and there were 68 abstentions. WIDE+ has been a strong supporter for this resolutions and was thanked yesterday in the plenary of the European Parliament by Malin Björk, one of the shadow rapporteurs of the motion, for our contributions to the work of the  rapporteurs and their team (see also the video stream).

  • A Fair Trade for Gender? an Analysis of Cocoa production in Ivory Coast, article by WG member Nema Vinkeloe: article.


WIDE+ at European Parliament hearing, 11 May, 2017. WIDE+ Working Group spoke at the European Parliament Hearing organized by the FEMM and INTA committees (gender equality and international trade). To read WIDE+ contribution: WIDE_EP_INTA_FEMM2017.

Previous Years

Picture is from the European Parliament (EP) rapporteurs Björk and Forenza, when the own initiative motion “Gender in Trade Agreements”, was adopted by the EP in March 2018. WIDE+ Gender and Trade WG was very actively advocating for gender just recommendations in this report.