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WTO members urged to address needs of women entrepreneurs at MC12 event

June 13, 2022

GENEVA, 12th June, 2022 (WAM) -- World Trade Organisation members must step up work to ensure that trade and trade rules better serve women amid disruptions posed by multiple crises, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the WTO-International Trade Centre (ITC) joint event titled 'Unlocking Trade for Women’s Empowerment and Sustainable Development' held on 12 June, the first day of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12).

The event spotlighted perspectives from entrepreneurs and enabling organisations to effectively increase women’s participation in international trade.

'We need to deepen and diversify supply networks and bring more countries and communities from the economic margins to the mainstream. In this process, which I think of as re-globalisation, women have to be at the centre,' Okonjo-Iweala said in her opening remarks at the event.

'Unlocking trade for women's empowerment and sustainable development is not just the right thing to do. It's an economic issue. It's a social issue. It is the key issue,' she said, noting potential increases in global output, wages and employment when the gender divide is addressed.

'A strong and effective WTO is critical for these women, which is one more reason why delivering results at MC12 this week is so important,' DG Okonjo-Iweala said. 'We want to make sure that people know that the WTO is about people. It's not only about rules - it's about rules that help people,' she said.