Press Release | 07 Jul. 2020

International Trade Centre launches a groundbreaking tool to track policies for women in trade


(New York) - The International Trade Centre today announced the launch of SheTrades Outlooka digital tool that allows governments and others to track progress on gender equality in trade, and progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 to empower all women and girls.

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. These include Bangladesh's use of digital technologies to empower entrepreneurship for rural women, Canada's gender-based analysis of trade agreements, and Lesotho's grants to support women in the creative industries.

Funded by the United Kingdom, the project aims to increase the competitiveness of women-owned businesses in international trade, including by improving the policy environment. According to the innovative digital tool, South Africa, Mauritius, Rwanda, and Samoa are among the countries that have designed leading policies that boost women's economic empowerment.

'Africa has the highest concentration of female entrepreneurs in the world, but many have not yet realised their full potential,' said UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge.

'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,' he said

ITC's acting Executive Director, Dorothy Tembo, said: 'With the SheTrades Outlook, ITC is contributing to making big data work for inclusive trade. The tool helps overcome a long-standing barrier to making trade policies work for women - the lack of quality data.'

She added: 'Better collection and analysis of data on women in trade enables policymakers to build more gender-just economies and boost progress in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 on empowering all women and girls.'

The tool tracks how laws, policies and practices affect women's participation in business and trade. 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.

SheTrades Outlook is based on women-in-trade data − 80% of which has never been collected before - from more than 500 government institutions and private sector organizations. The tool is set to be rolled out globally after launching with coverage of 25 countries.

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