Women all over the world are increasingly employed – and exploited – at the far end of the global supply chain. Whether by picking fruit in Chile, processing cashews in Mozambique, sewing in China’s Export Processing Zones, or providing biotech companies with indigenous knowledge in India, women’s labour and skill are crucial elements in the scaling up of globalised production processes. It might be argued that women benefit in terms of status and income from this trend, but what are the hidden costs of new trade regimes, and do they outweigh the benefits? What do women stand to lose from trade agreements on agricultural products, intellectual property, and the movement of migrant labour?
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