"Low levels of literacy and lack of information and awareness about cross-border trade regulations and procedures are much more common among female traders. Capacity building is clearly an important tool here," underlined DG Azevêdo. His full speech is available here.

The workshop was organized in the context of implementing the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment launched at the WTO's 11th Ministerial Conference in December 2017 and signed by 121 WTO members.

Throughout this year, WTO members have been exploring the links between trade and women's economic empowerment and how trade can be a powerful tool for integrating women into the economy.

Today's workshop focused on understanding the challenges that women are facing in integrating into value chains and how GVCs can foster women's economic empowerment. It highlighted the perspectives of various participants in GVCs, best practices and experiences of WTO members.

"Globally, only 15% of exporting MSMEs are led by women. Today, more than 70% of world trade passes through global value chains. If we want to make trade work for women and to expand their participation in trade through global value chains, the WTO can offer some solutions. Through capacity building in the area of standards, the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, Aid for Trade, and promoting targeted trade policies, the WTO can help to empower women," said Anoush der Boghossian, the WTO's Trade and Gender Focal Point.




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