Women’s economic empowerment takes spotlight at WTO
For anyone taking the pulse of global trade, women’s economic empowerment is a priority. The strong signal of support that was sent when the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment was signed in 2017 resonated once again at World Trade Organization on 9 October 2019.
During a session opened by Roberto Azevêdo World Trade Organization Director-General, members and trade-related organizations shared reflections on achievements, innovative initiatives and potential global actions on gender equality and the multilateral trading system.
International Trade Centre Executive Director Arancha González, recapitulating the ground covered since the signing of the Declaration, said that for continuous headway to be made it was important to examine the measures that the trade community needed to take for mainstreaming women in international trade.
Improved access of women to trade finance, modulation of existing trade rules and structural issues that prevent women from realizing their full potential in contributing to international trade were highlighted as areas that required urgent attention.
The need for appropriate policy work to acknowledge the economic value of unpaid work, which in Australia alone was worth half a billion dollars, was agreed upon.
Delegates mentioned International Trade Centre’s SheTrades initiative as an effort in the right direction to ensure availability of sex-disaggregated data, closing the pay gap and connecting women with e-trade.