Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement
TRADE AND GENDER
Article 13.1: General Provisions
1. The Parties acknowledge the importance of incorporating a gender perspective into the promotion of inclusive economic growth and the key role that gender-responsive policies can play in achieving sustainable economic development. Inclusive economic growth aims to distribute benefits among the entire population by providing equitable opportunities for participation of women and men in business, industry and the labour market.
2. The Parties recall Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The Parties reaffirm the importance of promoting gender equality policies and practices, and building the capacity of the Parties in this area, including in non-government sectors, in order to promote equal rights, treatment and opportunity between men and women and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
3. The Parties reaffirm the obligations in Chapter Twelve (Trade and Labour) as they relate to gender. The Parties also reaffirm commitments made in Article 16.4 as they relate to gender, including the Parties’ commitments to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the requirement under the Guidelines to establish a National Contact Point.
4. The Parties acknowledge that international trade and investment are engines of economic growth, and that improving women’s access to opportunities and removing constraints in their countries enhances their possibility to engage in economic activities, both domestically and internationally, and contributes to sustainable economic development.
5. The Parties also acknowledge that women's enhanced participation in the labour market and their economic independence and access to, and ownership of, economic resources contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic growth, prosperity, competitiveness and the well-being of society.
6. The Parties affirm their commitment to promoting gender equality through, as appropriate, laws, regulations, policies and practices.
7. Each Party shall domestically promote public knowledge of its gender equality laws, regulations, policies and practices.
Article 13.2: International Agreements
1. Each Party reaffirms its commitment to implement effectively the obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1979, and notes the general recommendations made under its Committee.
2. Each Party reaffirms its commitment to implement effectively its obligations under other international agreements addressing gender equality or women’s rights to which it is party.
Article 13.3: Cooperation Activities
1. The Parties acknowledge the benefit of sharing their respective experiences in designing, implementing, monitoring and strengthening policies and programs to encourage women’s participation in national and international economies. Accordingly, and subject to the availability of resources, the Parties shall develop programs of cooperative activities based on their mutual interests.
2. The aim of the cooperation activities will be to improve the capacity and conditions for women, including workers, businesswomen and entrepreneurs, to access and fully benefit from the opportunities created by this Agreement. These activities shall be carried out with inclusive participation of women.
3. The Parties shall encourage the involvement of their respective government institutions, businesses, labour unions, education and research organizations, other non-governmental organizations, and their representatives, as appropriate, in the cooperation activities decided upon by the Parties.
4. Areas of cooperation may include:
- (a) encouraging capacity-building and skills enhancement of women at work and in business;
- (b) promoting financial inclusion for women, including financial training, access to finance, and financial assistance;
- (c) advancing women’s leadership and developing women’s networks in business and trade;
- (d) developing better practices to promote gender equality within enterprises;
- (e) fostering women’s representation in decision making and positions of authority in the public and private sectors, including on corporate boards;
- (f) promoting female entrepreneurship and women’s participation in international trade, including by improving women’s access to, and participation and leadership in, science, technology and innovation;
- (g) conducting gender-based analysis;
- (h) sharing methods and procedures for the collection of sex-disaggregated data, the use of indicators, and the analysis of gender-focused statistics related to trade; and
- (i) other issues as decided by the Parties.
5. The Parties may carry out activities in the cooperation areas set out in paragraph 4 through various means as they may decide, including workshops, internships, collaborative research, specific exchanges of specialised technical knowledge and other activities as decided by the Parties.
6. The Trade and Gender Committee established by Article 13.4 may refer any proposed cooperation activities related to labour or labour market development to the Labour Ministerial Council established by Article 12.7 (Labour Ministerial Council) for its consideration.
Article 13.4: Trade and Gender Committee
1. The Parties hereby establish a Trade and Gender Committee (“Committee”) composed of relevant representatives from each Party.
2. The Committee shall normally convene once a year or as decided by the Parties, in person or by any other technological means available, to consider any matter arising under this Chapter. The Committee shall:
- (a) determine, organise and facilitate the cooperation activities and exchange of information under Article 13.3;
- (b) report, and make recommendations as appropriate, to the Commission for its consideration on any matter related to this Chapter;
- (c) discuss any matter of common interest, including joint proposals to support policies and other initiatives on trade and gender;
- (d) consider matters related to the implementation and operation of this Chapter; and
- (e) carry out other duties as determined by the Parties.
3. In the performance of its duties, the Committee may work with and encourage other committees, subcommittees, working groups and other bodies established under this Agreement to integrate gender-related commitments, considerations and activities into their work.
4. The Committee may request that the Commission refer work to be conducted under this Article to any other committees, subcommittees, working groups or other bodies established under this Agreement.
5. The Committee may seek the advice of a non-governmental person or group, including by inviting an expert to participate in meetings.
6. The Committee shall consider undertaking a review of the implementation of this Chapter, with a view to improving its operation and effectiveness, within five years of the entry into force of this Agreement, and periodically thereafter as the Parties decide.
7. Each Party may report publically on the activities developed under this Chapter.
8. To facilitate communication between the Parties regarding the implementation of this Chapter, each Party designates the Coordinator appointed pursuant to Article 18.2 (Coordinators) as its point of contact for the purposes of this Chapter.
Article 13.5: Relation to Chapter Twelve (Trade and Labour)
In the event of any inconsistency between this Chapter and Chapter Twelve (Trade and Labour), the latter shall prevail to the extent of the inconsistency.
Article 13.6: Dispute Settlement
1. The Parties shall make all possible efforts, through dialogue, consultations and cooperation, to resolve any matter that may arise relating to this Chapter.
2. If the Parties cannot resolve the matter in accordance with paragraph 1, they may consent to submit the matter to dispute settlement in accordance with Chapter Nineteen (Dispute Settlement).
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