March 25, 2022 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

As part of the commemoration of International Women’s Day, Dr. Erin Hannah, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Politics and International Relations, gave a special presentation to Global Affairs Canada - Trade Policy and Negotiations Branch on March 11, 2022. The presentation, entitled “Canadian Feminist Trade Policy?” was part of the T-Branch’s monthly Academic Speakers Series. Dr. Hannah spoke about Canada positioning itself as a champion of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment since the election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Dr. Hannah is an expert member of the Gender and Trade Advisory Group and the Gender-Based Analysis+ Sub-Committee at Global Affairs Canada, committees composed of a broad cross-section of Canadian representatives for women in business, academics and civil society, including gender experts. She is also an expert member of the World Trade Organization’s Gender Research Hub, which aims to “deepen understanding of women’s economic empowerment through trade by fostering further research and data collection efforts….” The Hub is composed of trade and gender researchers and experts from the WTO Secretariat, seven international organizations, and eight universities, of which King’s University College is one.

Using a feminist international political economy (IPE) lens, Dr. Hannah assessed Canada’s leadership on gender and trade, taking stock of a range of domestic policy initiatives aimed at leveraging trade for gender equality including gender-based impact assessments and the inclusion of gender chapters in free trade agreements (FTAs).

Dr. Hannah outlined how Canada launched an inclusive approach to trade, geared to:

(1) agenda-setting in international policy dialogue;

(2) harnessing the potential of international trade to contribute to gender equality domestically and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

(3) formulating domestic trade policies that identify and mitigate the gendered impacts of international trade;

(4) developing best practices for the formulation, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of gender chapters and gender non-discrimination provisions in bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) that can serve as the new international legal standard on gender and trade;

(5) developing indicators and reporting practices on the gender-based impacts of international trade.

She concluded by making a series of recommendations for how Canada can better deliver on its promise to use trade to improve the lives of women and other underrepresented communities.

“(Canada) is widely considered to be a driving force in helping to position gender equality as a global policy norm in the field of trade, but it has a lot more work to do if it is to align its trade agenda with feminist principles and priorities,” said Dr. Hannah.

To learn more about Dr. Hannah’s research and policy work, please see her website: