Unlocking Markets for Women to Trade – ITC (2015)

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International Trade Centre, 2015 – 80 pages

This publication provides insights to decision-makers on women’s participation in trade and the challenges they face. It provides data from importers and exporters in 20 developing countries; outlines the trade barriers; shares models of good public and private sector initiatives; and provides recommendations for policymakers to engage female entrepreneurs more fully in the global economy.

The report outlines a road map to rapidly boost the participation of women in the global economy, which has eight pillars for policy and programming action:

  • Better data. Collect, analyse, and disseminate data on women’s economic participation, to shape policies and programmes with impact.
  • Sensitive trade policies. Create trade policies and agreements that enhance women’s participation in trade.
  • Access to public procurement. Empower women-owned businesses to participate in the US$10 trillion annual public procurement market. Their current share is an estimated 1%–5%.
  • Diversity in corporate procurement. Create corporate procurement programmes that embed diversity and inclusion in value chains.
  • Certifying women-owned businesses. Set up mechanisms to certify ownership and eligibility of women-owned businesses.
  • Improving business environments. Address supply-side constraints that especially affect women-owned businesses.
  • Bridging the finance gap. Close the gap between men and women for access to financial services gap.
  • Adopting reforms. Ensure legislative and administrative reforms guarantee women’s rights to ownership and control over resources.