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The Gender Dimensions of Global Value Chains

Issue Paper / International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)

Penny Bamber / Cornelia Staritz

September 2016

Policymakers are increasingly turning to global value chains (GVCs) as a means of driving development, including generating employment and raising incomes. Access to and benefits from participation in GVCs are closely related to gender issues. The opportunities associated with GVCs differ for men and women as a result of gender-based segregation and constraints that exist to different degrees in all societies. Not seeing these inequalities is problematic from a gender equality perspective and can hinder the broader effectiveness of trade and development policies. Taking gender issues into account and addressing them is critical to harness the potential for GVCs to contribute to both sustainable economic and social goals. This paper seeks to integrate gender into the global value chain framework, to assess the gender dimensions of integration and economic and social upgrading in GVCs, and to offer GVC-related policy recommendations that support economic and social development.

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