Empowering women is not only emancipating for the individuals concerned, but it is also clever economic policy. It can boost employment, growth and social inclusiveness. To be able to deliver on the increasingly demanding agenda for more inclusive, sustainable and fair trade, trade policy can and must support the economic empowerment of women, for example by paying more systematic attention to obstacles that affect women in particular. Barriers are seldom targeted at women, but they often are the most hit. Many of the EU priorities for a modern trade policy, such as labour rights, responsible supply chains, and harnessing the digital economy can deliver positive impacts for women. I see it as one of our core tasks to raise awareness among policy-makers across the world that issues around trade and gender mainstreaming are about fairness but also, first and foremost, about economic efficiency.
I commit to undertake the following:
Raise awareness about the link between trade policy and women's economic empowerment. I will organise a dedicated workshop with other Geneva-based missions to further explore this link and reflect on how we, as Members, could contribute to a more gender-inclusive trade agenda in the WTO.
Refer to the gender dimension in EU interventions, in line with EU policy, and engage the EU permanent mission in supporting ongoing work at the WTO on mainstreaming gender into trade policy.