Who Is Benefiting From Trade Liberalization In Uruguay? A Gender Perspective

This report aims to assess the implications of Uruguay’s productive transformation, trade liberalization, and regional trade integration on women, especially in terms of their access to employment.

While women play many roles in society, this report focuses on their role as workers.

The report encourages the reader to take into account the complexities of the trade and gender link and its numerous, and sometimes hidden, connections with the micro and macro components of economic and development processes.

The research also highlights that Uruguay’s legal framework as well as social norms and stereotypes contribute to the role that women play in the labour market and society.

The long-term approach of the study, covering three decades of economic and social reforms, provides the basis for anticipating the role that the female workforce may play in Uruguay in the decades ahead.

The study also demonstrates that social changes usually occur at a relatively slow pace.

The structure of the report is as follows:

Chapter 1 provides a country overview with a focus on economic reform, structural transformation, and investment flows that have had a direct or indirect impact on the overall welfare of the population and, in particular, on the kinds of jobs available to women.

Chapter 2 presents the gender situation in Uruguay by considering both gender-related “outcomes” (the relative position of men and women in key aspects of social life) as well as relevant policies and social institutions (“input” or “means” variables).

Chapter 3 reviews the different stages of the Uruguayan process of trade liberalization and trade integration and their overall impact on the economy.

Chapter 4 uses a sectoral approach to explore the impact of Uruguay’s trade policy on the female workforce. Chapter 5 presents some policy recommendations aimed at enhancing women’s participation in the economy and especially in the rapidly expanding export sectors.

It explores some cross-cutting issues to promote women’s empowerment in all aspects of their lives.