Gender and trade
EIF is fully committed to putting gender considerations into the heart of national development plans and trade policy. The programme 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 issues often amounts to creating a more gender‑neutral environment for the production and trade in goods and services, and typically relates to areas such as employment, legal structures, customs and individual household situations. EIF offers solutions to improve women's economic situations, to alleviate the supply-side constraints that particularly affect women, and to improve women's access to markets. Many industries and businesses - especially SMEs - are female-dominated, therefore it is crucial that they are granted the same access as men.
EIF's trade research and analysis reports on gender issues and makes country-specific recommendations for increasing trading opportunities for women.
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 national officials 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.