Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are critical development objectives. Whilst gender equality is a basic human right, it is also a matter of economic efficiency and competitiveness, leading to the achievement of other key development outcomes.
Globalisation and trade have played a critical role in reducing barriers to achieving greater gender equality. Evidence shows a strong correlation between increased international trade and increases in female employment; trade results in greater employment in exports, increased connection to markets and often higher wages in export oriented industries particularly for women.
Women entrepreneurs are a growing economic force with 34% of firms worldwide having female participation in ownership, and yet women access a limited share of procurement opportunities.
In most countries government procurement accounts for 15% to 20% of GDP, and worldwide, companies spend US$300bn annually on goods and services. Targeted procurement, that ensures women and other disadvantaged groups receive a fair share of available contracts, holds the potential for enormous benefits for all stakeholders.
Corporations report increased profits as a result of efforts to empower women economically in developing countries including through supply chain diversity, whilst providing equitable access to public contracts contributes to development priorities such as quality healthcare, education, and infrastructure.
ITC’s Women and Trade Programme works with governments, the private sector and trade support institutions to bring greater economic benefit to women through increased participation in export trade.
The Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors aims to increase the share of corporate, government and institutional procurement secured by women vendors.