This article examines the impact on Canadian trade policy of the failure of official Canadian commitments to adopt gender equity policies. This failure must be understood within the context of broader restructuring of the Canadian state and state‐society relations. As Jane Jenson and Susan Phillips have argued, the Canadian “citizenship regime” has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. Neo‐liberal globalization destabilizes pre‐existing divisions between the national and the international, and puts strain on domestic practices of citizenship and representation. In particular, the article focuses on two related and emerging phenomena. First, international gender commitments, such as those at the Beijing meeting, seem to produce a widening of political space for a gender inclusive polity, although, simultaneously, the commitment to gender‐based analysis coincided with the Canadian state's retreat from materially supporting and empowering grassroots women's groups. Second, women's policy machinery, such as Status of Women Canada, and feminist bureaucrats, “femocrats”, have identified international trade as a key policy priority. However, this identification takes place at the margins of the liberal democratic state and under a set of structural constraints. As a result, attempts to promote a gender analysis of trade issues encounter the economic rationalism promulgated by the Department of Finance, and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The logic of economic rationalism is not gender sensitive. This has significant implications for the relationship between women's grassroots activism and those women pushing a feminist agenda within the state under the terms of economic globalization. (Publisher summary)

Additional Metadata
Keywords Political Science and International Relations
Publisher Informa UK Limited
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/11926422.2005.9673389
Journal Canadian Foreign Policy Journal
Citation
Gabriel, Christina, & Macdonald, L. (2005). Managing trade engagements? Mapping the contours of state feminism and women's political activism. Canadian Foreign Policy Journal, 12(1), 71–88. doi:10.1080/11926422.2005.9673389