WOMEN AND TRADE
Entitled “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 policy makers 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 digitalization.
Delivering the keynote speech, Ecuador's Minister of Foreign Trade, Daniel Legarda, called for enhancing women's economic opportunities to help countries attain their development objectives. He outlined Ecuador's trade and gender policy actions and called for coordinated efforts between governments and other stakeholders at national and international levels. He added: “The WTO has a role to play and must act accordingly. 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 at the launch was WTO Deputy Director-General, Xiangchen Zhang, who emphasised the importance of inclusiveness in trade. He 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.”
WTO Deputy Director-General Angela Ellard said: “Thanks to the work of so many, gender issues are now mainstream in trade policy and the WTO's work. We now routinely see gender provisions in trade agreements, within trade policy, and regarding domestic policies that have implications for trade. But 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.”
The World Trade Congress on Gender was organised by the WTO with the WTO Gender Research Hub, an international network of trade and gender researchers created by the WTO in May 2021.
Information about the Research Hub's research can be found in the database on trade and gender, which hosts over 100 research papers.