Gender and Trade

Objective:Guided by the idea that international trade has an important role in supporting women’s empowerment and advancing gender equality, the Gender and Trade Initiative @ ICRIERseeks to enhance the participation of women entrepreneurs in international trade through a vibrant work program incorporating research, dialogue and capacity building activities.   The focus of work is on gender mainstreaming across four core pillars of the enabling ecosystem for trade in India: capacity building and skill development; financial inclusion; early-stage support; trade facilitation and access to markets. The objectives are:

  • To generate evidence-based knowledge and research on issues relating to gender and trade;
  • To contribute to an informed understanding of the need for gender mainstreaming in trade and national development policies;
  • To amplify the voice and impact of women stakeholders’ perspectives in the national, regional and global policy setting space;
  • To assist the government (Centre and States) to integrate gender into the enabling ecosystem for trade; and

To facilitate capacity building for women entrepreneurs and government officials

a. Study on “Gender Mainstreaming in Trade Facilitation at India’s Land Ports”

Objective:The land ports are important gateways for India’s trade with the neighboring countries as well as Southeast Asia.Typically, as in the case of men, the interface of women with the export/import processes through the land port occurs at two levels. First is as users – as trader, transporter, or logistics operators such as custom house agents and freight forwarders. The second is as providers – as staff operating the trade facilities and managing the trade processes for cross-border movement of cargo. However, at both these levels a perceptible under-representation of women is starkly evident.Using a combination of field survey and comprehensive stakeholder consultations the study will gather both quantitative and qualitative information to assess the infrastructure deficits, safety related challenges and socio-cultural barriers through a gender lens that combine to constrain women and perpetuate an unwelcoming environment for women at the land ports in India.The insights gathered will be used to recommend targeted measures to create gender responsive infrastructure at the land ports in India; enhance safety and security measures for women at the land ports in India; and improve access to and the quality of information on border related processes and procedures for women.

Scope and Deliverables: 1 Report, 1 Dissemination Conference, 4 Virtual Dissemination Events

The study will adopt a ‘mixed methods’ approach and will use both secondary as well as primary sources to quantify the availability and assess the quality of gender friendly infrastructure and facilities at the land ports. The “As-Is” situation at select land ports will be assessed through a gender lens with regard to access, infrastructure, safety related measures and gender sensitization of the various operating agencies staff. The entire process of cargo clearance and passenger movement through the land port will also be mapped to identify the ‘pain points’ for women as users. The field findings will be benchmarked against a model of a gender responsive land port created by the study team and recommend the enabling interventions needed.

Activities: The following activities are being undertaken under the project:

  • Survey in 10 locations
  • 6 stakeholders’ consultations
  • Dissemination Conference and webinars