“International Women’s Day is about honoring the positive impact that women and girls have in all areas of our lives — and, of course, the huge contribution they make to this organization. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness on gender issues, take stock of the progress made, identify remaining challenges, and promote further inclusiveness”.

The Director-General also launched a new report, prepared by WTO staff, which looks at gender statistics in the WTO between 1995 and 2016. The report provides an overview of the representation of women among WTO Secretariat staff, as well as looking at the representation of women in chairing WTO bodies, sitting as members of the Appellate Body, working as panellists in disputes, and acting as discussants in Trade Policy Reviews.

The report shows that the participation of women in the WTO Secretariat has increased steadily over the years. In the professional staff category, female representation went from 31 percent in 1995 (when the WTO was founded) to nearly 45 percent in 2016. At the same time, the report highlights a range of areas where more progress can be made to improve female participation, including in chairing WTO bodies. Commenting on the report, the Director-General said:

“This report provides a retrospective look at gender parity in the WTO over the past 20 years, and provides a solid basis for identifying gaps and raising awareness on gender equality. Over the years, we have strived to improve gender parity in the WTO Secretariat. More than that, we are working to ensure that gender matters are always an integral part of our rules and administrative procedures. This is an ongoing effort, and I am also pleased to note an increasing interest among WTO Members in making gender equality in the WTO an ever bigger focus of our work”.

The report is available here.

The Director-General’s full remarks at the event can be accessed here.

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