Trade Tuesday For Women In Business: Facilitating Trade For Women

“Growth and comfort do not coexist.”

~ Ginni Rometty, CEO, IBM

The ability to move goods and services across borders efficiently and predictably, can mean the difference between success & failure for women trading across borders. Unfortunately, across the African continent, women face discriminatory biases that hinder their full participation in global trade.

Since 2016, World Bank’s Doing Business country rankings included gender indicators, which highlighted the regulatory biases faced by women.

When the written standards are exactly the same, more female-owned exporting firms report procedural obstacles to trade than do male-owned firms, including “information and transparency issues,” “informal or high payments” and “discriminatory behaviour.”

In order to ensure that ‘no-one is left behind’ – trade policy initiatives must address the challenges that are unique to women in trade. Reforms should be based on a thorough understanding of their impact not only on a country as a whole, but also on specific segments of the population.

To date, most (trade) policy initiatives have focused on addressing these concerns by facilitating access to finance, market information and networks, and capacity building and training. Such initiatives are certainly useful, but establishing a more enabling environment for inclusive trade requires going further and making changes to the international trade arena that address particular challenges facing women.

~ Arancha Gonzalez, Executive Director, ITC

Trade policies developed with the view to promote a inclusive trading system & ensure the full participation of women, may confirm role of trade as a tool for inclusive and sustainable development. When trade is more gender-neutral & efficient, women can do more of it and reap the economic benefits of global trading. Research shows that when women participate fully, a country’s competitiveness and productivity improves, which in turn has a positive impact on economic growth and poverty reduction.

Mucha Mlingo

President, OWIT Nairobi

Founder, PTS Africa

At OWIT Nairobi, we have a vision to empower women to transform communities through global trade. We are committed to creating opportunities for women to connect to global markets. As a Business Support Organisation, we work closely with our members to ensure access to the necessary tools to build businesses that can go global. For more information about OWIT Nairobi – visit our website,

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