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Gender equality: ITC launches groundbreaking tool for women

The International Trade Centre has announced the launch of SheTrades Outlook, a digital tool that allows governments and others to track progress on gender equality in trade.

It also tracks progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 to empower all women and girls.

ITC launched the SheTrades Outlook at a side event of the United Nation’s High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held in New York.

In a statement issued by the Jarle Hetland, Media Officer of ITC, the body’s acting Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, said with the SheTrades Outlook, ITC was contributing to making big data work for inclusive trade.

According to Tembo, the tool helps overcome a long-standing barrier-lack of quality data- to make trade policies work for women.

“Better collection and analysis of data on women in trade enables policymakers to build more gender-just economies and boost progress in achieving SDG-5 on empowering all women and girls,” she said

The speakers at the launch included Mrs Pauline Tallen, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development and Ms Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Others included Mr Tipu Munshi, Minister of Commerce, People’s Republic of Bangladesh and James Duddridge, UK Minister for Africa.

The SheTrades Outlook provides quantitative and qualitative data using 83 indicators across six policy areas.

It contains more than 50 good-practice examples to spur policymakers worldwide to introduce and reform policies that support women in trade.

Funded by the United Kingdom, the project aims to increase the competitiveness of women-owned businesses in international trade by improving the policy environment.

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“Africa has the highest concentration of female entrepreneurs in the world, but many have not yet realized their full potential.

“This great new tool will help women globally reap the benefits of trade, bringing economic benefits to their families and communities, as we help the developing world build back better after coronavirus,” said Duddridge.

According to Duddridge, the tool tracks how laws, policies and practices affect women’s participation in business and trade.

He also said it enables comparison across countries and sharing of good practices in Trade Policy, Business Environment, Legal and Regulatory Frameworks, Access to Finance, Access to Skills and Work and Society.

NAN also reports that SheTrades Outlook is based on women-in-trade data − 80 percent of which has never been collected before – from more than 500 government institutions and private sector organizations.

According to ITC, the tool is set to be rolled out globally after launch with coverage of 25 countries.

The body said it developed SheTrades Outlook as part of SheTrades in the Commonwealth, a dedicated project under the ITC SheTrades Initiative launched in April 2018.

The SheTrades Outlook, available at www.shetrades.com, gives policymakers access to step-by-step guides that enable them to develop free trade agreements, trade policies and public procurement policies that are more responsive to women’s needs.

SheTrades in the Commonwealth aims to deliver training, strengthening and mentoring activities to 3,000 women-owned businesses in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ghana, and Kenya.

It also provides Commonwealth-wide support to governments through advisory services and tools that encourage more gender-responsive trade and trade-related policies.

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