ActionAid condemns the passing of the TPP, calling it “a discriminatory deal and a danger to women's rights"


Women’s rights organisation ActionAid condemns the passing of the TPP, calling it “a discriminatory deal and a danger to women’s rights”

Women’s rights organisation ActionAid Australia has condemned the decision of the LNP and ALP to join together to pass the implementing legislation of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP-11) in the Senate.

“The TPP always was and still is a discriminatory deal, and a danger to women’s rights and gender equality,” said Michelle Higelin, ActionAid Australia Executive Director.

According to Ms Higelin, implementing the TPP in Australia is inconsistent with the Australian Government’s commitments to achieve gender equality and uphold women’s rights. She warns that millions of women in low-income countries will see gender inequalities increase under the agreement.

“This gender-blind deal will exacerbate existing gender inequalities for women living in poverty around the world, and fundamentally shifts power to corporations at the expense of women’s rights and economic justice.

“The worst aspects of the original TPP are still included in this dodgy deal. If it proceeds it will put downward pressure on women’s wages, undermine their rights at work, and drive privatisation of public services essential for gender equality like health and access to justice. And, perhaps most outrageously, if governments attempt to take back control, it establishes the right of corporations to sue under the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) Mechanism.”

ActionAid Australia has said that while the introduction of the ALP’s ‘A Fair Go for Australians in Trade Bill 2018’ is a small step in the right direction, much more must be done. The organisation has launched an open letter in the wake of the passage of the TPP through Parliament, calling on all political parties to endorse its ‘Principles of Gender-Just Trade’.

“The TPP negotiations were shrouded in secrecy, and now this discriminatory deal has gone ahead without any proper consideration of the impact for millions of women and girls around the world. The way we negotiate trade in this country must change, and the rights of women and their communities must come before the interests of powerful corporations,” concluded Ms Higelin.


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