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IOE contributes to the WTO Public Forum on Women's Economic Empowerment and Trade

28.09.2016 15:00 Age: 1 year
Category: news, media release, Gender, Diversity, World Trade Organization

Ms Linda Kromjong, IOE Secretary-General, participated in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum on Women's Economic Empowerment to respond to the many recommendations in the UN Secretary-General's report on the role of trade in achieving SDG5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls).

She highlighted the importance of trade in increasing opportunities for individuals to get into formal work, improving their circumstances and those of their families, while contributing to society and the economy. As female participation increases in global supply chains, their productive capacities improve. This happens because involvement in global supply chains facilitates the transfer of knowledge from buyers to suppliers, promoting new technologies in production processes and thereby enhancing productivity and competitiveness.

The business case for improved participation and gender equity rests on the premise that full and better use of the entire talent pool can lead to increased productivity and better decision-making. Linda Kromjong reiterated that the private sector alone cannot address gender imbalances in the world of work. Governments need to create a conducive business environment in which firms not only unleash both male and female talent, but also create opportunities for women either as workers or as employers in their own right.

To advance SDG5, the UN Secretary-General has appointed a high-level panel on women’s economic empowerment.

The panel’s first report was issued in September 2016 in New York and highlights seven primary drivers to unlock the potential of women to fully participate in the economy and achieve financial independence:

  1. tackling adverse norms and promoting positive role models
  2. ensuring legal protections and reforming discriminatory laws and regulations
  3. recognising, reducing and redistributing unpaid work and care
  4. building digital, financial and property assets
  5. changing corporate culture and practice
  6. improving public sector practices in employment and procurement
  7. strengthening visibility, collective voice and representation


Linda Kromjong participated in the high-level panel on 28 September 2016 at the WTO in Geneva.

For more information, please contact Thannaletchimy Thanagopal Housset, IOE Adviser