Women’s economic empower key to development

25 April 2012
ITC News

The event highlighted the need for concerted policy action to allow women to contribute to and benefit from their countries’ development. Panellists included Honourable Anabel Gonzalez, Minister of Trade of Costa Rica; Honourable Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, Member of the German Parliament and former Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany; Honourable François Kanimba, Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda; and Ms. Francis.

Ms. Francis told the participants that increased gender equality promotes trade competitiveness, citing as an example the increased competitiveness of Uganda’s cotton sector following technical services to women.  As a result, the large productivity gap between male and female farmers was reduced.

She also emphasized that laws concerning women’s rights to ownership need to be taken into consideration. ‘Gender equality is not just about equal opportunity in terms of jobs. The equal opportunity to control assets is also critical to women’s economic empowerment,’ said Ms. Francis.

The focus on Women in Development continued throughout the day, with the UNCTAD Women in Business Awards dinner in the evening.