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Women's economic empowerment: An inherent part of Aid for Trade

Anoush Der Boghossian

No ERSD-2019-08, WTO Staff Working Papers from World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division

Abstract: Aid for Trade supports developing and least-developed countries in building their trade capacity and in increasing their exports by turning market access opportunities into market presence. It does so by addressing four key areas: trade policy & regulations; economic infrastructure; building productive capacity; and trade-related adjustment. The WTO-led Initiative works with a broad cross-section of stakeholders to: highlight needs (of developing and least-developed countries and regional organizations), mobilize resources (including donors, international financial institutions and other international organizations) and monitor impacts and effectiveness (with OECD and other international organizations). Through Aid for Trade, the WTO has been focusing on women with the aim of building their capacity to trade and using trade as a tool for their economic development. Gender equality is an inherent part of Aid for Trade. This has also been reflected in the Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women's Economic Empowerment which identified Aid for Trade as a key instrument to assist members in "analysing, designing and implementing more gender-responsive trade policies". Three key facts on women's economic empowerment through Aid for Trade * Donors and partner countries have been devoting increasing attention to gender dimensions in Aid for Trade. Both groups have gradually and increasingly integrated gender into their Aid for Trade objectives. They are now at par. The 2019 Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise reveals that women's economic empowerment is now high on both donors and partner countries agendas. Today, 84% of donors' aid-for-trade strategy and 85% of partner countries national or regional development strategy seek to promote women's economic empowerment. * The main target group of gender related Aid for Trade is women entrepreneurs. * While gender is now fully part of members aid-for-trade objectives, it has not been fully integrated in their aid for trade priorities. This disconnection between objectives and priorities could explain the difficulty in assessing the real impact of aid for trade on women's economic empowerment. This also shows the challenges to translate objectives into effective programming. Aid for Trade flows confirm this trend

Keywords: gender; international trade; women's economic empowerment; trade policy; WTO; international trade rules; Aid for Trade (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F1 F13 F19 O1 O19 Z0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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