Free Trade Agreements and Gender (In)Equality: The Possible Gendered Consequences of the EU-Mercosur Free Trade Agreement
The newly negotiated Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Mercosur has provoked both political and public controversy. Gender equality is one of the core values of the EU, and a prerequisite for a sustainable development. The connection between gender and trade and the different ways that free trade agreements affects structures of gender inequalities, are of huge political and theoretical concern. This thesis examines the possible gendered consequences of the EU-Mercosur Free trade agreement and its impact on gender equality in Mercosur. From an intersectional feminist analysis of the EU-Mercosur Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) and the EU-Mercosur FTA, this study concludes that the possible gendered consequences following the agreement are expected to be manifold with intersectional variations, where women, in their many roles as employers, consumers, producers and citizens, can be seen as negatively impacted upon by this agreement. This thesis findings contributes to the previous critiques given to the lack of gender mainstreaming in SIAs and FTAs, and calls for an intersectional feminist approach to gender mainstreaming of trade policies and free trade agreements, in order to come about gender equality and to make sure that trade doesn’t infringe on women’s empowerment or women’s human rights. By furthering the knowledge and understandings of trade policies and gender (in)equality, this thesis seeks to contribute to the work of feminist activists, women’s organisations, unions, and overall civil society, in advocating for a more serious gender approach in all trade agreements.
Free Trade Agreements
Sustainability Impact Assessments