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Activity report: "Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+): Canada-Mercosur FTA Negotiations"

On July 17, 2020, Canada and Chile held a video conference to allow Canada to share knowledge and best practices with Chile on its Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) activities in the context of the Canada-Mercosur FTA Negotiations. The session was part of the cooperation activities under the Trade and Gender Chapter of the Canada-Chile Free Trade Agreement Trade, designed for Canada and Chile to share policies and best practices on advancing gender equality, as well as to encourage women’s participation in national and international economies.

Canada, which led this activity, was represented by Global Affairs Canada officials: Georgina Wainwright Kemdirim, Special Advisor, GBA+ and trade and gender, and, Shenjie Chen, Director of Economic Research and Modelling Division, Office of the Chief Economist.  Chile was represented by Angélica Romero, Acting Director, Multilateral Economic Affairs, and Ignacia Simonetti, Head of the Gender Department, Undersecretariat of International Economic Affairs.

Over forty attendees joined the online Webinar, including governmental policymakers, researchers and Free Trade negotiators, from both parties. Attendees had the opportunity to learn in detail about the process of applying a GBA+ to trade agreements, focusing particularly on the preliminary findings and best practices derived from the ex-ante GBA+ exercise in the context of the Canada-Mercosur FTA negotiations.

Before giving the floor to Canada, Angélica Romero, provided opening remarks, celebrating both countries’ fruitful bilateral relationship and reaffirmed Chile´s interest to keep learning from Canada’s experience in applying GBA+ and the importance of such a webinar for that process.  

Georgina Wainwright Kemdirim began her presentation with an introduction to GBA+, focusing on the qualitative analysis carried out on each chapter of the FTA negotiations by Canada during the Canada – Mercosur FTA Negotiations. The presentation highlighted the benefits and challenges of the analysis, and a series of best practices to conduct GBA+ on FTAs, such as:

Ms. Wainwright Kemdirim also provided insight on potential next steps to further improve and strengthen the analysis. The presentation was followed by a round of questions from Chile’s negotiators.

After this, Shenjie Chen presented a complete review of the quantitative analysis Canada developed, giving a detailed account of the Office of the Chief Economist’s labour market module, an innovative approach that is more people centered, and aims to capture the economic outcomes by gender, occupation, and age group. Mr. Chen stated the benefits of collecting gender-disaggregated data from the outset and developing a plan to measure socio-economic effects of the potential FTA, stating that it was a best practice in order to show citizens how trade as the potential to benefit everyone. The presentation was followed by another round of Q&A. The session was closed with remarks from both parties, that recognized the importance of keeping the momentum, and working closely to continue to conduct gender and trade impact assessments to facilitate greater participation by women and traditionally underrepresented groups, such as SMEs and Indigenous people, in international trade.

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