Gender and trade
Putting gender considerations into the heart of national development plans and trade policy is something to which the EIF is fully committed. EIF has a mandate to help LDCs benefit from global trade by tackling bottlenecks and promoting sustainable economic growth, and central to this is the need to address gender-specific constraints and increase trading opportunities for both women and men.
Tackling gender-based constraints often amounts to creating a more gender‑neutral environment for the production and trade in goods and services. Typically, this relates to areas such as employment, legal structures, customs and individual household situations. EIF offers solutions to improve women's economic situations, to diminish the supply-side constraints that particularly affect them and improve access to markets. Many industries and businesses - especially SMEs - are woman-dominated, therefore it is crucial that they are granted the same access as men.
EIF's trade research and analysis, including Diagnostic Trade Integration Studies (DTIS) and Action Matrices, report on gender issues in countries and make recommendations.
ITC in partnership with EIF developed a module on gender mainstreaming that was piloted in Rwanda in November 2011, with training given to build capacity of EIF National Implementation Units (NIUs) and other stakeholders to incorporate gender as a cross-cutting issue in EIF projects. In Rwanda, gender is now considered a key tool for development in the National Trade Policy.