15/12/2017 498 Social Issues | Gender issues | View Recent Current Affairs
- World Trade Organization, WTO members and observers have endorsed a collective initiative to increase the participation of women in trade.
- In order to help women reach their full potential in the world economy, 118 WTO members and observers agreed to support the Buenos Aires Declaration on Women and Trade, which seeks to remove barriers to, and foster, women’s economic empowerment.
- Buenos Aires declaration on women and trade was spearheaded by the governments of Iceland and Sierra Leone, as well as the International Trade Centre. It stemmed from efforts made by the Trade Impact Group of the International Gender Champions, a leadership network that brings female and male decision-makers together to break down gender barriers. The declaration seeks women’s economic empowerment by expeditiously removing barriers to trade.
- India was among the minority group that chose not to endorse the move saying while it stoutly supports gender equality, it cannot concur with the view that gender is a trade-related issue.
- This declaration will seek to promote a more inclusive trade agenda by enabling more women to participate in international trade.
- According to research by the International Trade Centre (ITC), women-owned businesses that export employ an average of 42 people, compared with an average of only eight people employed by non-exporting women-owned businesses. Despite this, woman exporters face more trade obstacles than men, with 74% of woman-owned firms reporting challenging non-tariff measures compared to 54% of businesses owned by men.
- So, WTO Action is needed to better integrate women into the international trading system. All the evidence suggests that giving an equal economic chance to women is not only economically important; it results in beneficial outcomes for society as a whole
- Women-owned businesses that export are 3.5 times more productive than those which do not export. But while women own up to 40% of all small- and medium-sized enterprises globally, they lead only one in five exporting firms.
- According to research by McKinsey, advancing women’s equality could add $28 trillion to global GDP by 2025 and mean better development outcomes for families and communities worldwide.