Explaining the Relationship Between the World Trade Organization and Women's Rights, 1981-2010
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There is general agreement that the General Agreements on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO) has increased the volume and the ease of flow of international trade and, by way of comparison, sparked considerable debate regarding the effects of membership in the GATT/WTO on women's rights. Normatively, this is an important question. How does the increasing and pervasive reality of openness and increasing trade affect the lives and opportunities of women? Using three original theories and the results of four fixed-effects models, I find that membership in this institution has no significant effect on women's rights. My conclusion is that membership and the subsequent effects on international trade result in very mixed outcomes for women.