Call for Papers: Thematic Issue WCP

Gender Impact of Interregional Trade


  • Carolina Pavese ESPM/SP


After two decades of negotiations, the European Union (EU) and Mercosur celebrated a new Association Agreement in 2019. Structured around three pillars (political dialogue, cooperation, and trade), the deal is still pending ratification but has raised strong criticism. Most concerns address the effect of trade liberalization on social and environmental agendas. This article contributes to this debate, conducting qualitative analysis on the agreement's potential impact on gender equality in the EU and Mercosur. Departing from the feminist scholarship assumption that trade has an unavoidable effect on gender, this article argues that interregional trade agreements can be a helpful policy instrument to promote gender equality. Nevertheless, this research demonstrates that, so far, the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement has neglected this opportunity. The provisional text does not reflect a gender mainstreaming approach, lacking the appropriate mechanisms to manage its effects on women. As a result, the new interregional trade liberalization instrument risks widening gender inequality in both regions. Nevertheless, this research demonstrates that, so far, the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement has neglected this opportunity. The provisional text does not reflect a gender mainstreaming approach, lacking the appropriate mechanisms to manage its effects on women. As a result, the new interregional trade liberalization instrument risks widening gender inequality in both regions.

Author Biography

Carolina Pavese, ESPM/SP

Professor of International Relations at ESPM. PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics (2014). Master in International Relations from the San Tiago Dantas Program, UNESP-UNICAMP-PUC-SP (2007) and specialist in European Studies from the Colegio Europeo de Parma -Italia (2007). She has teaching and research experience at PUC-Minas, London School of Economics and Oxford University. She works in the area of ​​International Relations, with an emphasis on international cooperation and international organizations.


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regional trade agreements, gender inequality, European Union, Mercosur