20 June 2017. Brussels. the European Commission and the International Trade Center (ITC). Policymakers, the business community and civil society organisations convened to galvanize support for inclusive trade policy and the ITC SheTrades initiative to connect one million women to market by 2020, using trade as a lever for women’s economic empowerment. This initiative seeks to rally stakeholders around the world to work together on seven global actions to address trade barriers and create greater trade opportunities for women entrepreneurs. It is supported by a web and mobile digital platform.

Participants took stock of current trade policy’s contribution to the economic empowerment of women, raise awareness of gender issues in trade, and considered how trade can promote the advancement of gender equality through a combination of multi-stakeholder engagement and a progressive approach to sustainable development.

Extract of the programme;
What does inclusive trade policy look like?
What are the binding constraints that hamper women entrepreneurs from accessing markets and take part in trade? Panelists will discuss opportunities to leverage trade agreements, and highlight policy, legal and regulatory aspects contributing to levelling the playing field to ensure that women-owned and women-powered businesses are able to fully participate in the global economy.
  • Amina Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Kenya
  • François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of International Trade, Canada
  • Roberto Azevêdo, Director General, World Trade Organization, Switzerland
  • Jennifer Gallegos, Vice President of Development, International Women’s Coffee Alliance, USA
Financing for growth
Women are more likely to cite access to finance as a major constraint on their business operations. What bold steps can be taken to support the achievement of universal financial access?
  • Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Chairperson of New Faces, New Voices, Rwanda Chapter; Vice Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda
  • Maria Shaw-Barragan, Head of Global Partners Operations, European Investment Bank, Luxembourg
  • Monica Musonda, CEO, Java Foods, Zambia
  • Deniz Duygu, Secretary General, Arya Women Investment Platform, Turkey (TBC)
Addressing supply side constraints
Trade-related technical assistance initiatives and game-changing solutions such as SheTrades are brought to the table by a diverse range of stakeholders building the case of inclusive value chains for a sustainable economic growth.
  • Sanem Oktar, President, KAGIDER, Turkey
  • Chiedza Makonnen, CEO, Afrodisiac Worldwide, Ghana
  • Malini Patel, Vice President of Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship, Vital Voices Global Partnership, USA
  • Klaus Rudischhauser, Deputy Director General, Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, Belgium

This post was originally published at PAEPARD and has been republished with permission.

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