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  • The 100th anniversary of international women's day 8 March 2011

    In 1975, during International Women's Year, the United Nations began celebrating 8 March as International Women's Day. Two years later, in December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a United Nations Day for Women's Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions. For the United Nations, International Women's Day has been observed on 8 March since 1975. 

    ITC Executive Director Patricia Francis speaks on International Women’s Day about the progress that women have made and the ways to further the advancement of women in trade.

    Under the ITC Women and Trade Programme, the Women in Coffee in Africa project establish women’s coffee associations. ITC works with the International Women’s Coffee Alliances, IWCA, www.womenincoffee.org  in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Other countries are likely to be included soon. ‘Women in Trade: Tasting Competitiveness in Global Markets’ is the theme of our International Women’s Day celebration. On this occasion of International Women’s Day, we invite you to share in some of our recent success stories of the Women in Coffee project. The videos below highlight the progress that is being made in significant ways.


    ITC is focusing on the economic empowerment of women through trade, in our work, including under the Women and Trade Programme. The aim of this programme 2010 – 2012 is to help women derive greater economic benefit from their participation in export-oriented value chains and improve the export competitiveness of goods and services supplied by women entrepreneurs.

    To link buyers and sellers a Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women vendors has been established bringing together corporate, government and institutional leaders committed to increasing women’s share of procurement. Approximately 95% of Fortune 500 companies have supplier diversity programmes under which they actively seek to source from women. ITC is working with partners under the Platform to facilitate linkages and has several projects supporting product and enterprise development. These include those under the ACCESS! and Ethical Fashion Programmes 

    Coffee is produced in more than 60 countries. An ITC survey (2008) revealed that women typically do 70% of the field and harvest work in the coffee sector but only around 10% of in-country trading and of export. Women own only around 15% of land used for coffee production, 15% of the coffee (the traded product) and 15% of the companies processing and exporting the coffee.
    Please see below some useful links: