WOMEN AND TRADE

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The course was the first of its kind to be organized for delegates from Geneva-based permanent missions and tailored specifically to their work. Participants explored the linkages between trade and gender issues to have a greater understanding of how trade rules impact women.

The course included lectures and brainstorming sessions on how to integrate gender issues into the daily work of WTO delegates and permanent representatives, with the aim of supporting participants' capacity to reinforce the activities and impact of the Informal Working Group on Trade and Gender. The course also introduced participants to various gender-responsive trade policymaking tools and provided them with an overview of data trends on trade and gender.

Ambassador Pimchanok Pitfield of Thailand said: “It is the first time that I have encountered a training course that links the gender debate to trade and to WTO rules and activities. In this respect, the course gave me some ideas of what we can do at the WTO or around trade rules which I have never thought of before.”

For Essate Weldemichael, Advisor and Special Assistant to the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone, the course was comprehensive, practical and well structured. “I particularly appreciated the emphasis on gender-sensitive data collection, capacity building, and gender impact assessments. These are crucial steps in ensuring that the trade policies we shape at the WTO reflect the needs and concerns of women,” she said.

Carlos Guevara, Counsellor of the Mission of Ecuador to the WTO, said: “This was a very interesting activity that provided a lot of food for thought as well as an interactive exchange among all participants. Activities like this are also useful to better understand the linkages between trade and gender, which helps to open dialogues and analysis about gender issues from a cross-cutting approach in my current work portfolio”.

Tejaswinee Burumdoyal, Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Mauritius, said: “Experience-sharing among the participants, carrying out course work and learning about the research and analysis being conducted by the WTO on trade and gender were interesting features of the course. The training has empowered me to further my government's feminist economic policies, including the work of my ambassador, who is the current Gender Focal Point of the Human Rights Council.”

The training course was delivered in English for government officials from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. Other training opportunities on trade and gender will be offered in 2024, including an in-person course for Spanish-speaking officials to be held in the first quarter of 2024. These activities are part of the WTO's Trade & Gender 360° Strategy, the WTO's capacity building programme on trade and gender.

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