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Trade, Gender & Development - Gender Perspectives in Trade Policy

UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade & Development


Economic policies impact different segments of the population, including men and women, in different ways. In turn, gender inequalities impact on trade policy outcomes and economic growth. Taking into account gender perspectives in macro-economic policy, including trade policy, is essential to pursuing inclusive and sustainable development and to achieving fairer and beneficial outcomes for all.

UNCTAD plays a key role in ensuring that gender considerations are incorporated in a meaningful way in trade policies. Through its work programme on Trade, Gender and Development, UNCTAD supports its member countries in:

  • assessing the distinct effect of economic policies, especially trade policy, on men and women, boys and girls; identifying gender-based constraints that impede inclusive development; and devising strategies and policy measures to overcome them.

  • mainstreaming gender into trade policy through the inclusion of gender considerations in policy formulation and implementation, and in the negotiations of trade and other agreements at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels.

The Maafikiano Mandate on Gender-Related Issues

The Nairobi Maafikiano, adopted at the fourteen session of UNCTAD's Ministerial Conference (UNCTAD 14, Nairobi, Kenya, 17-22 July 2016), gives UNCTAD the strongest ever mandate on gender and more specifically on trade and gender. It requests UNCTAD to "continue its efforts in all its work to mainstream cross-cutting issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women…"(para 14(b)), in recognition of the fact that "gender equality and women's empowerment …are essential to all countries to attain sustainable and equitable growth and development" (para 14(a)). It recognizes that "economic growth has to be inclusive to ensure the wellbeing of the population. Inclusiveness …also requires close attention to horizontal inequalities, including gender inequality…" (para 40). It calls on UNCTAD to "Reinforce its work on the links between gender equality, women's and girls' empowerment and trade and development, and support member States in the design and implementation of policies and establishment of institutions that support women's economic empowerment, economic security and rights and enhance their economic opportunities (para 55(bb)). It recognizes that "Women play a critical role in development and contribute to structural transformation. Therefore, gender equality and empowerment of women and girls is essential to unlock this potential…Actions are required to address specific challenges to their equal and active participation in domestic, regional and international trade…" (para 73). Finally, the Nairobi Maafikiano emphasizes that "Effective implementation [of the 2030 Agenda] will require sound and coherent policy frameworks…, based on pro-poor, inclusive and gender-sensitive development strategies (Para 82).

NewsPublicationsEvents and MeetingsPress Releases

15 October 2016UNCTAD marks International Day of Rural Women

Actions to combat poverty in rural areas, where over 70% of the world's 1.4 billion extremely poor people live, will be crucial if the aspiration of the Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty is to be met.


26 May 2016Women's economic empowerment takes centre stage at UNCTAD expert meeting

An expert meeting on Trade as a Tool for the Economic Empowerment of Women was held by the Trade, Gender and Development Unit on 23 and 24 May 2016 to promote a better understanding of the links between trade and gender.


23 March 2016Trade and Global Value Chains: how to address the gender dimension

Global value chains have become a dominant feature of world trade and investment, but what opportunities and risks do they provide to women? This question was addressed at a side event jointly organized by UNCTAD and Finland on 17 March during the 60th session at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.


11 March 2016Second UNCTAD online course on trade and gender concludes successfully

Seventy-seven researchers, government officials and civil society representatives, including 47 women, from 44 countries, successfully completed the second edition of the UNCTAD online course on trade and gender, held from 4 January to 21 February 2016.


03 March 2016On Women's Day, UNCTAD takes part in Geneva Gender Debate

To mark this year's International Women's Day, UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Joakim Reiter will take part in the first annual Geneva Gender Debate organised by the Swiss city's Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies on 8 March, 2016.


07 January 2016UNCTAD kicks off Second Online Course on Trade and Gender

On January 4th, UNCTAD launched the second iteration of its trade and gender online course. The course is being delivered to over 100 students from 56 different countries representing government agencies, international organizations, civil society and academia.


04 December 2015Making trade policies more gender sensitive in the Caribbean

UNCTAD partnered with the Caribbean Development Bank to train senior trade officers from the region on integrating gender analysis in Caribbean trade and economic growth programmes.


29 September 2015Women can be catalysts for trade and development – if obstacles are removed

With more empowerment and a change in socio-cultural attitudes, women can be catalysts for trade and development. But, according to participants in a round table discussion during the sixty-second session of the Trade and Development Board, trade liberalization does not automatically benefit women and gender equality.


21 September 2015UNCTAD leadership reaffirms commitment to gender equality by becoming a Geneva Gender Champion

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi makes four pledges on behalf of UNCTAD as part of a new Geneva-wide leadership network for gender equality.


30 July 2015Ensuring Gender-Sensitive Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Framework

In its latest Policy Brief, UNCTAD presents suggestions on elements, data and considerations that — once the post-2015 “package” enters into force — may prove useful to assess whether sustainable development goals 1, 2, 5 and 17 are being implemented in a gender sensitive way.

Извор: WUNRN - 08.11.2016



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