Volume 27 Number 3
  • E-ISSN: 2076099X


Foreign direct investment (FDI) and multinational enterprises (MNEs) are important sources of financing for developing countries. In this context, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has a long track-record of looking at both spillovers from FDI and gender equality. The policy study on investment by transnational corporations and gender provided a preliminary review of the academic literature on the impact of foreign investment on gender policy and practice, focusing on the wage and employment effects, and the related potential for women’s empowerment (UNCTAD, 2014). In addition, the 2020 World Investment Report (UNCTAD, 2020a) describes that the world’s leading multinational enterprises are increasing their gender equality reporting and policies, contributing to broader female representation and positive development impacts. Finally, several of the papers in this special issue served as background research for the UNCTAD (forthcoming) policy report on The International Transmission of Gender Policies and Practices: The Role of Multinational Enterprises. This original academic research was presented at an expert group meeting in May 2020, which brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to discuss tangible policy recommendations and development impacts, while formally validating the quality of the research as part of the review process.

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