Gender equality in trade adds value to economies, and women can, and should, contribute to this value across the world. At a time when we are living in an age of opportunities, new technologies and wider connections as a result of greater access to the internet, it is unfortunate that there continues to be a bottleneck in the progress we want to see, where there are gaps in the reported numbers of women successfully trading. We must have harmonization of laws, standards, access to finance and education to remove the barriers that are inhibiting this progress.
As Chairman of the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment, I commit to a) Lead WTO signatories to increase awareness and country level engagement on the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment; b) Ensure that Committee working groups and streams integrate a gender lens into trade and sustainability programs, environmental policies and strategies; and to c) Ensure that the Committee advocates a gender lens for member state national responses on climate resilience, and recovery plans to natural disasters.
I commit to enabling increased CARICOM focus and activities on Gender equality in Trade by: a) Secure the engagement of the CARICOM Chairman and Secretary General to join as International Gender Champions; b) Facilitate 80% of CARICOM Permanent Representative Missions to join as Champions with IGC-Geneva; c) Facilitate technical assistance support for Member States to promote Gender Mainstreaming of National Trade Policies, d) Promote CARICOM Secretariat adoption of the IGC Gender Responsive Assembly Toolkit on equal representation, participation, decision-making, gender focused & gender balanced delegations; e) Promote specific global and regional programmes in member states aimed at increasing women’s entrepreneurship and export activities through capacity-building, improved access to finance, technology and trade