About the GST - WG

Who we are

The Gender, Social Inclusion and Trade (GST) Working Group is an online network bringing together key policymakers from developing countries who are active in trade and economic ministries, trade negotiators and representatives of gender/women’s ministries. Membership is also open to representatives of regional economic organisations, national trade promotion and finance organisations, women’s organisations, civil society and private sector groups which represent marginalised traders and are advocating for the economic empowerment of women.


The Gender, Social Inclusion and Trade Working Group is embedded in the GESI strategy implementation grant (“The GESI project”) hosted by the Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund (TAF2+) and funded by UK aid from the UK Government. Activities are implemented by BKP Economic Advisors.


What we do

The GST Working Group aims to contribute to the ongoing strategic conversation on gender and socially-equitable trade. Our project seeks to ensure inclusion of (sub-groups of) women and men who are normally excluded and improve the ability, opportunity, and dignity of those disadvantaged on the basis of their identity to participate in trade, whether as consumers, producers or traders.


Economies are gendered structures. Worldwide, women face segmented labour markets, are constrained by their social role as caregivers, and are disadvantaged in access to resources. Not only women themselves but the wellbeing of whole societies is held back as a result. Trade policy can have a role in improving the situation.  


The pursuit of socially equitable trade rests on a broader concept.  It refers to the process of improving the conditions of all disadvantaged individuals and groups whatever their gender - such as people with disabilities, migrants and indigenous peoples.  Social categorisations of this kind intersect to create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination and disadvantage in the work people do, the services they use and the goods they consume. They also lead to differences in how people are affected by economic changes, including those brought about by trade and investment flows. Bringing considerations of gender and social inclusion into trade policymaking therefore requires careful contextual and sector-specific analysis. 

The GST Working Group works towards:

  • Filling information gaps on the impact, relevance and benefits of including gender and social inclusion issues into trade policies and programmes;

  • Strengthening the technical skills of trade-policy makers on how to build a GESI approach into trade negotiations and agreements, by providing information about best practices in previous negotiations by developing countries, as well as innovative ways to mainstream GESI into trade impact assessments, negotiations, agreements and capacity building programmes; and

  • Bringing together gender and social inclusion champions to foster south-south exchanges between stakeholders which seek to integrate GESI in trade negotiations and agreements.