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Abstract

United Nations' 2030 Sustainable Development Goals' SDG 5 places gender equality front and centre for sustainable development. The Joint Declaration on Trade and Women's Economic Empowerment on the Occasion of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires in December 2017 brings gender equality to the forefront of trade policy. In the intersection of trade policy and digital technologies, this paper examines how electronic commerce can work towards gender equality, filling a knowledge gap about gender-inclusive governance. Legal-empirical analysis of key regulatory and policy challenges facing women in e-commerce, and identification of vehicles for gender equality at the regional and multilateral level are followed by policy options for promoting women participation in e-commerce. The paper presents a framework for understanding the multiplicity of gender gaps as they manifest themselves in e-commerce models, suggesting potential but also concerns, and advances a multi-level approach to incorporating gender-inclusive e-commerce regulation into trade policy.

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