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Gender-responsive Analysis

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 15 November 2018

11. If he will ensure that a gender-responsive analysis is conducted at each stage in the development of new trade agreements after the UK leaves the EU. (907621)

I am committed to ensuring that UK trade policy supports gender equality. I will be publishing scoping assessments on each new free trade agreement and these will consider the effects of concluding trade deals on different groups, including gender groups.

I thank the Secretary of State for that answer, but what policy measures will he put in place to ensure that the sustainable development goals are met, particularly goal 5 to ensure equality for women and girls?

The hon. Lady raises a very important point. It was one of the points we considered at the World Trade Organisation meeting of Trade Ministers in Buenos Aires. We looked at a study showing that of companies that trade only offline, four out of five are owned or run by men. Of those that run only online, four out of five are run or owned by women. This indicates that e-commerce is one of the prime development tools that we can use. The liberalisation of e-commerce and creating a global network of regulation is therefore one of the best ways we can combine trade and development policy, specifically to help women experience the benefits of the global economy.