Stakeholders seek improved women’s participation in trade, manufacturing
As women’s participation in trade and industrial activities continues to dwindle, stakeholders are seeking ways to attract and keep women in the key sectors.
As part of ways to tackle this, a new book on trade and gender looks at ways of bolstering women’s participation in international trade and highlights how women’s economic empowerment can support trade growth and economic development. It also brings together the latest research on the role of trade policy in improving gender equality.
Titled, ‘Making Trade Work for Women: Key Findings from the World Trade Congress on Gender’, the book builds on the research presented at the first World Trade Congress on Gender, held at the WTO in December 2022, which brought together researchers and policymakers from across the globe.
The book stresses the need to help women overcome obstacles to participating in trade and reaffirms that making trade policy more responsive to gender issues improves inclusiveness and supports sustainable growth. It highlights gender-relevant measures incorporated in governments’ trade policies and covers topics such as the experiences of women entrepreneurs, gender provisions in trade agreements, the gender wage gap, the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women’s trade capacities, and the opportunities of digitalisation.
Ecuador’s Minister of Foreign Trade, Daniel Legarda, called for enhancing women’s economic opportunities to help countries attain their development objectives. He called for coordinated efforts between governments and other stakeholders at national and international levels. “Trade is an effective channel to promote women’s economic empowerment and to improve the quality of life of women and their families.”
Also speaking, WTO Deputy Director-General, Xiangchen Zhang, who emphasised the importance of inclusiveness in trade, said: “Trade empowers women. The WTO will continue its campaign for gender equality in the field of international trade by raising public awareness, showcasing successful stories, establishing a network for research and experience-sharing, and calling for an environment that encourages women’s participation in international trade. We need to do more to get the message out, including with the private sector. Trade must work for women and support their integration into the trade marketplace because when women do better, societies and economies do better.”
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