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Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement

Australia-UK FTA Chapter 24 Trade and Gender Equality

Article 24.1 Objectives

1. The Parties acknowledge the importance of advancing gender equality for inclusive economic growth and that gender-responsive policies are important for ensuring equitable participation in domestic, regional and global economies.

2. Accordingly, the Parties recognise the importance of advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across this Agreement and agree to incorporate gender perspectives in their trade and investment relationship.

3. The Parties affirm their commitment to the WTO Joint Ministerial Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment made at the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 and acknowledge the work of other multilateral fora, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in advancing the evidence base on women’s economic empowerment and trade.

4. The Parties acknowledge that, in addition to the provisions in this Chapter, there are provisions in other Chapters of this Agreement that seek to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the context of trade and investment including in relation to services, SMEs, financial services, procurement, labour, and digital trade.

5. The Parties recognise the importance of evidence-based interventions and measures that facilitate women’s full access to and ability to benefit from this Agreement.

6. The Parties further recognise the benefits of sharing their experiences in designing, implementing, resourcing and strengthening policies, programmes and other initiatives to advance gender equality and address the systemic and other barriers which prevent women, including as workers, business owners and entrepreneurs, from participating equitably in all aspects of trade.

Article 24.2 Trade and Gender Equality Cooperation Activities

1. The Parties shall undertake cooperation activities, as appropriate, that support women workers, business owners and entrepreneurs to access the full benefits and opportunities created by this Agreement.

2. The Parties recognise the importance of carrying out the cooperation activities with the inclusive participation of women.

3. Cooperation activities that may be undertaken by the Parties include, but are not limited to, exchanging information, experiences and evidence relating to:

(a) programmes and initiatives aimed at improving the access of women to markets, technology and financing;

(b) promoting equal opportunities for women in the workplace, including workplace flexibility;

(c) the development and strengthening of women's leadership and business networks;

(d) improving the access of women and girls to leadership opportunities and education, including in fields in which they are under-represented, such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, insofar as those activities are related to trade;

(e) trade missions for businesswomen and women entrepreneurs;

(f) collaborating, including with developing countries and in multilateral fora, to promote equitable participation of women in supply chains; and

(g) enabling women’s access to online business tools and opportunities to strengthen digital skills, and identifying and addressing barriers to women accessing digital trade.

4. To support achievement of the objectives of this Chapter, the Parties shall cooperate and exchange information on the integration of gender in approaches to data collection, analysis and monitoring, as agreed by the Parties, which may include:

(a) methods and procedures for the collection of sex-disaggregated data, the use of indicators, monitoring and evaluation methodologies, and the analysis of gender statistics related to trade;

(b) conducting gender analyses of trade policies, incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data and information, and for the monitoring of their effects on women as workers, entrepreneurs and business-owners; or

(c) undertaking research on trade and gender equality where appropriate.

Article 24.3 Dialogue on Trade and Gender Equality

1. The Parties agree to establish a Dialogue on Trade and Gender Equality (the Dialogue) composed of government representatives from each Party. Meetings of the Dialogue shall take place by agreement of the Parties.

2. The Dialogue may consider any matter that the Parties consider appropriate to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the Parties’ trade and investment relationship. The Committee on Cooperation shall consider any matter under this Chapter related to cooperation and support any cooperation activities.

3. The Dialogue may engage and facilitate communication with relevant stakeholders which may include women workers, business owners and entrepreneurs, in its consideration of matters relevant to this Chapter.

4. The Dialogue shall report on the progress of its work to the Committee on Cooperation established under paragraph 1 of Article 27.4 (Committee on Cooperation – Cooperation), while seeking to avoid duplication of its work.

5. The Dialogue may work with other bodies and subsidiary bodies established under this Agreement to advance the objectives of this Chapter and support the delivery of the cooperative activities described in Article 24.2 (Trade and Gender Equality Cooperation Activities), which may include providing advice or recommendations to the Joint Committee as appropriate.

Article 24.4 Non-application of Dispute Settlement

Neither party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 30 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

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