The Gender and Trade Coalition (GTC) held its third strategy meeting from 3-4 July 2023 alongside a roundtable discussion on 7 July at the 31st International Association for Feminist Economics annual conference in Cape Town, South Africa. During this dynamic and reflective strategic thinking space, GTC members and allies engaged in extensive discussions to hone our collective analysis, strengthen the Coalition’s advocacy, revamp its communication strategy, and bolster its advocacy plans, communications strategies, and governance systems.
Following an interactive presentation of the GTC’s herstory since its inception in 2018, participants shared updates on their gender and trade justice work alongside a situational analysis of the current trade policy landscape. Members analyzed the WTO’s continued instrumentalization of women’s rights as a tool to facilitate the free flow of capital, resources, and labor; interlinkages between trade, climate change, and gender; and negative impacts of European Union policies that ensure Europe’s ability to access critical minerals, transition to renewable energy, and unilaterally enforce carbon tariffs on the Global South. This collective reading strengthened the GTC’s commitment to analyze, illuminate, and oppose unjust trade rules and policies.
The advocacy session kicked off with a creative exercise to envision a front page news headline about the GTC’s work five years from now. While discussing organizing tactics, members were inspired by the idea of convening a cross-movement tribunal on trade justice in 2027 and building popular education on feminist political economy. Discussions on the audience, messaging, tools, and purpose of the GTC’s communications strategy ran parallel to, and emerged from developing the coalition’s advocacy plan.