20 Mar

PhD Defence Jacqueline Rose Mary Salguero Huaman

Supervisors: Prof. dr. Shyama V. Ramani, Prof. dr. Neil Foster

Keywords: Gender equality, international trade, women's economic empowerment, trade and gender

"Making trade work for gender equality: Essays on the trade and gender nexus in developing countries"

This doctoral thesis delves into the nuanced relationship between trade liberalization and its implications for gender equality in developing countries, with a keen focus on women's economic empowerment. Challenging prevailing assumptions, it argues that the benefits of trade liberalization for women are not universal but contingent on a complex interplay of macroeconomic conditions, technological advancements, and socio-economic norms, alongside policy interventions.

A cornerstone of this research is the introduction of an innovative scoreboard index, evaluating the gender sensitivity of trade policies across 25 countries. This pioneering index uncovers significant disparities, particularly in trade policy, highlighting the urgent need for more inclusive policy frameworks.

The analysis extends to the agricultural sector, assessing the dual impacts of foreign investment on gender equality, and revealing a multifaceted landscape of opportunities and challenges. Moreover, a case study from Vietnam offers fresh insights into the relationship between gender diversity within firms and firm performance, indicating industry-specific differences.

This thesis not only advances the academic dialogue on trade and gender but also provides critical insights for policymakers, aiming to leverage trade as a catalyst for gender equality and inclusive development, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals.

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