International Women’s Day
The United Nations recognizes 8 March as International Women's Day. This year’s International Women’s Day highlights the need for inclusive and transformative innovation and technology to bridge the gender gap.
ITC contributes to the International Women's Day celebrations by highlighting how women entrepreneurs from across the world overcome obstacles and participate successfully in international trade. It is a global day to celebrate women’s and girls’ achievements and to raise awareness of the efforts that still lie ahead to achieve gender equality.
Strengthening women in business and trade in developing and least developed countries is one of the mainstays of the International Trade Centre’s work.
Inequality takes on many forms – women’s participation in global trade, for example, is woefully low. According to the World Trade Organization, women make up just 35% of the world's workforce in the export sector. Our own research found that only one in five businesses in the developing world is owned by women
In recent years, as the digital economy grows exponentially, women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade—a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action, according to the UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report.
To bridge the gender gap in global trade, particularly in the digital economy, ITC integrates gender considerations throughout our work.
Globally, since 2020 our ecommerce programme through the ecomConnect platform has supported 3000 women from 160 countries to trade online.
Getting women artisans onto online marketplaces such as eBay or Novica increases their income, and also makes preserving cultural traditions a bankable effort.
ITC developed the SheTrades platform to matches women entrepreneurs with potential buyers and investors. It also provides training and support to help women develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in international trade.
As of 2021, we have connected three million women to the international market through the platform.
On 9 March 2023, we will launch the SheTrades Hub in Mauritius, bringing the total count of Hubs to 12 worldwide. Each takes a country-specific approach to support women-owned businesses to benefit from opportunities to expand their business and jointly advance women economic empowerment.
The Netherlands Trust Fund V at ITC runs two tracks of support. One track supports tech businesses to better trade and grow. The second develops innovative ways for agribusinesses to digitize. Since the programme began 1.5 years ago, 324 women-led businesses have made international deals, and 474 women have learned to use technology improve their businesses.
Our 10-day social media campaign centred on Gender Equality for Sustainable Trade.
Supporting women in sustainable trade helps mitigate climate change by making them - the underrepresented - more active in the global value chains. We celebrated women entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of bringing sustainable solutions to trade, and to our daily lives.
Two of those women created video messages highlighting their work: Louise Mabulo, founder of the Cacao Project, and Zhipara Raimkulova, who leads a handicraft association in Kyrgyzstan.
From Tajikistan to Nicaragua, from tourism to textiles, businesses and government leaders around the world took to social media to share their tips on how small businesses can survive the pandemic, focusing on women.
Images of inspirational women entrepreneurs featurd on buses and trams in Geneva, Switzerland, to promote gender equality in business.