Women Get Economic Benefits from Greater Trade, World Bank Reports

Trade increases women’s wages and helps close the wage gap between men and women while creating better jobs for women, a new World Bank Group report has stated.

It stated that countries that are open to international trade tend to grow faster, innovate, improve productivity, and provide higher income and more opportunities to their people. Countries that are more open to trade, as measured by the trade-to-GDP ratio, have higher levels of gender equality.

The report, produced in collaboration with the World Trade Organisation, marked the first major effort to quantify how women are affected by trade using a new gender-disaggregated dataset.

The dataset, developed by the World Bank Group, allows researchers to understand how women are employed, in which industries they work, how much they earn, and whether or not they are involved in global trade. This analysis helps governments see how trade policies can affect women and men differently.


“Over the past 30 years, trade has been the engine of poverty reduction. This report shows that, provided the right policies are in place, it can also provide an engine to reduce the gender gap,” World Bank Managing Director, Mari Pangestu said.

“Trade can expand women’s role in the economy and decrease disparities with men by giving women more and better employment opportunities. Seizing these opportunities will be even more important in a post-COVID-19 world.”

The report titled, ‘Women and Trade: The Role of Trade in Promoting Women’s Equality,’ offers several key findings.

It showed that firms that are part of global value chains (GVCs) employ a greater percentage of women (33 percent) relative to non-GVC firms (24 percent).

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