Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.
HOW ARE COUNTRIES MAINSTREAMING GENDER IN TRADE POLICIES AND PRACTICES?
Tracking How Much She Trades
On July 7, the International Trade Centre rolled out a new tool to track the types and prevalence of trade policies designed to promote more trade by women-owned businesses.
Called “SheTrades Outlook” and funded by the UK, the index initially covers 25 countries as wide-ranging as Australia and Canada to Mauritius, South Africa, Rwanda, and Samoa, applying quantitative and qualitative data to rank them across 83 indicators and six policy areas. Analysts interviewed more than 460 institutions and organizations in these countries, evaluating factors including women’s access to opportunities for skills development, finance, and global markets, and networks.
The index also queries whether governments and national organizations offer tailored support to enterprises owned and run by women to enable them to grow their businesses globally, whether programs exist to help women entrepreneurs win government contracts, and if governments have begun to collect gender-disagreggated data that might better inform policies to support women in trade.
Finally, SheTrades Outlook compiles recommended practices across these policy areas to share the experiences of countries covered in the index as a global resource.
Starting to Get the Picture
SheTrades Outlook seeks to create a more complete picture of how women participate in the global economy through trade. Doing so will help inform trade policies and national trade promotion programs that better serve women as critical drivers of productivity and economic growth worldwide.