In Senegal, the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between West Africa and the European Union will see tariffs dismantles on 75% of products over a 20-year period. Senegalese women tend to be employed in the sectors that are the least competitive in a free trade situation. The EPA could therefore threaten the already precarious working conditions of many women in Senegal. A team of local researchers sought to investigate whether implementation of the EPA would compromise the country’s commitments to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Their findings indicate that implementing the EPA reduces labour demand in the sectors that women are the most active but that their increase in unemployment and decline in wages is relatively less than those of men. The team also found that an increase in public investment in the sectors most affected by trade liberalization can offset the negative effects of the EPA.
Find out more about the research methods, findings and policy recommendations in the following PEP publications: