8 - 14 avenue de la paix
in Geneva 1202
E-commerce has been heralded as a ‘golden ticket’ to economic empowerment for women in the global South. Multilateral agencies, national governments, private sector and civil society are spearheading creative interventions to connect women entrepreneurs in developing countries to the online marketplace. There are some efforts to also provide women support in the form of digital and financial services, infrastructure access, and enskillment opportunities. As digital trade becomes more mainstream, it would be useful to examine progress on these multiple fronts; take stock of how they have worked and discuss the enablement necessary for women’s equal participation in the online marketplace. For example, pilots so far have benefited a small number of women entrepreneurs. Considering that a majority of women in developing countries are in agriculture and some are also entering the digital services economy as gig workers, how the forces of platformisation can accommodate their needs and interests is an important question. Against this backdrop, the panel will deliberate on the following questions:
To what extent has the global digital economy and the current e-commerce regime been successful in furthering women’s empowerment and gender equality?
What kind of policy spaces are vital for women’s empowerment at the national level? Consequently, what should not be traded away in e-commerce negotiations?
How can we build an initial set of parameters to evaluate e-commerce policy systems for gender inclusiveness?