Since for men for every region of

Since the beginning, the World Trade Organization (WTO)
established international trade as the global framework setting in place the
standard rules with the purpose that all economic agents around the world can
benefit from trade. To attain this achievement, WTO and the International Labor
Organization (ILO) worked jointly, seeking a common purpose: “Trade
has the potential to raise global welfare and improve employment outcomes.”1
Under this viewpoint, a fair interaction between labor force and trade openness
could improve the well-being for all countries. Vast flows of goods from one
place to another are moving easier and faster since trade began to consolidate its presence
across the international market. In this context, the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, (OECD) points out that trade in goods is mainly a channel
to integrate economies. This argument is based on the idea that open economies
are more interconnected and that trade came to fill out the variety of needs
required by countries more rapidly, and as a consequence, it has split a higher
welfare for people. Yet, despite the best efforts in coordination made by both
organizations to enhance trade and employment, their net effect across
economies have had unpredictable results. Economies react different, depending
on their own social, political, and economic structure.

             The 80’s and 90’s were decades when trade liberalization
extended its roots to developing countries and labour force
growth was substantially higher for women than for men for every region of the
world except Africa ( Lin Lean Lim, 2007). However, nowadays, in some developing
countries, the average patterns of women’s labor force participation are more
mixed ( World Bank, 2012). For instance, United Nations points out that in  the Middle East & North Africa and South
Asia regions, male labor force participation rates exceed women’s by over 50
percentage points. In contrast to this, from 1990 to 2010, women’s
participation rates in the Latin American & Caribbean region showed the
most gains, increasing by 18 pencentage points in the last two decades. According
to  Susan Jokes (1995), the female labor
force participation has increased mainly in the manufacturing and services
sector as a result of trade.

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             In
addition, it is also known that the existing asymmetries among countries in
human capital, technology, infrastructure, investment, and etc., especially for
developing countries – where women usually meet these asymmetries on an even deeper level – usually has given the women
less access to inputs, education, and resources. Based on it, many economies
keep the assumption that protectionist measures can minimize the advantages
guaranteed for others; trade barriers are still part of policies in some
countries with the purpose to anticipate worsening trade balance (Mansfield and
Busch, 1995).

In
this line, also, as AlAzzwi (2010) mentions women have both
labor market and household responsibilities that limit their labor market
experience.
Therefore, with less advantage and less opportunities to find a suitable job,
even at comparable skill levels, women earn less than men and usually is harder
for women to find more job opportunities than men (UNCTAD, 2012).

             Nonetheless, there is currently no
study to conclude that trade is the direct cause of unemployment or
particularly for female unemployment. On one hand, economies across countries
are different, therefore, factors of incidence cannot be considered and taken
individually. On the other hand, other economies ( pro-free market ) state that
reduction in trade barriers (such as tariff, import tax, and etc.) can enhance
efficiency;2
hence, lower tariffs, higher trade, and consequently more growth could promote
job opportunities.

             According
to the Heckscher-Ohlin Model ( H-O model), trade should be a good avenue to
increase employment and create jobs, especially for countries with abundant
labor force. In this regard is important to stress that only in China and India
exist a surplus of men before women, and when looking at any other region,
women exceed the men in numbers ( World’s Woman 2010. Trends and Statistics, United
Nations), it also sets the fact that level of female unemployment is increasing
overtime. Therefore, based on the aforementioned H-O model, it would be
expected that trade openness reduces the female unemployment rate in developing
countries, where female labor force is abundant. Anderson (2008) claims that
“the Heckscher-Ohlin analysis of the factor proportions model predicted that a
country would have a comparative advantage in the good which made relatively
intensive use of its relatively abundant factor, considering also factors
immobility between countries.” In this understanding, trade in goods
compensates this rigidity of factors as the model expects that trade patterns
allow countries to consume factor services as a part of one that is globally
integrated, reducing differences in national factor endowments, so, in this
line, unemployment in most of the scenarios will tend to reduce. Nevertheless,
it should be highlighted that this H-O model only considers two countries, two
commodities, and two factor of production, when all economies have a more
complex scenario that is not limited to two countries.

1Marc Bacchetta,
Ekkehard Ernst, and Juana P. Bustamante, “Globalization and Informal jobs in
Developing Countries “(A joint study from the International Labour Organization
and the World Trade Organization, Switzerland, 2009 ): 7.

2 Ann O. Krueguer, ” How to
liberalize a Small Open Economy,” in the Economies of the Caribbean Basin, ed
by Michael B. Connolly and John Mc. Dermott, (ed) Prager Publisher ( New York,
1985).

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