Women need equal access to resources and opportunities
‘We must accelerate our efforts to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women through development programmes grounded in country priorities, recognising that gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical to achieving development results.’ That was key message delivered by ITC’s Meg Jones at the 25th session on Aid for Trade in the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development (CTD) on 11 July.
Ms Jones, Programme Manager of ITC’s Women and Trade initiative, added that reducing gender inequality is both an end in itself and a prerequisite for sustainable inclusive growth.
She urged policymakers to accelerate efforts to ensure that public expenditures are targeted appropriately to benefit both women and men, and that gender equality and women’s empowerment are addressed in all aspects of development efforts, ‘including peacebuilding and statebuilding’.
Ms Jones highlighted efforts by ITC to empower and strengthen the role of women in Aid for Trade, such as the Global Platform for Action Sourcing from Women Vendors that ITC launched at the World Export Development Forum in 2010.
The Global Platform for Action Sourcing from Women Vendors is a network of corporations, governments, trade associations and business owners who aim to increase the share of corporate, government and institutional procurement secured by women vendors in a bid to bring greater economic benefit to women and their communities.
One arena where this is translated into action is the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum (WVEF), an annual ITC-hosted buyers and sellers meeting. The first WVEF took place in China in 2011 and second edition will be held in Mexico City on 6-7 November, in partnership with the Government of Mexico and other stakeholders.
In her speech to the CTD, Ms Jones also underlined ITC’s commitment to continue helping governments use their own spending power, though government procurement, ‘to unleash trade as a vehicle for achieving development outcomes’.
The WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development acts as the focal point for the coordination of all work on trade and development issues in the WTO. The CTD deals on everything from technical cooperation and training to notifications under the Enabling Clause, which allows developed members to give more favourable treatment to developing countries.
Learn more about ITC’s Women and Trade Programme.
Learn more about the Women Vendors Exhibition and Forum.
Register for the Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors.
Learn more about the World Export Development Forum.
Learn more about the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development.
Read more on Women and Trade in the latest Trade Forum issue.