INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON “MOVING TOWARDS GENDER SENSITISATION OF TRADE POLICY” CONCLUDES
Date : 27 Feb 2008
Location : New Delhi
The 3-day (25-27 February 2008) International Conference on "Moving towards gender sensitisation of trade policy" organised by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) concluded here today. The Conference was inaugurated by Mrs. Meira Kumar, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment on 25th February. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD and Shri G.K. Pillai, Commerce Secretary, also participated in the Conference and spoke on the occasion. The conference provided a forum for Indian and international trade and gender experts to discuss and raise awareness on trade performance and gender linkages in India and globally and propose actions and directions towards enhanced and more effective gender sensitisation of trade policy with particular reference to India and generally to developing countries.
While inaugurating the Conference, Mrs. Meira Kumar said that equitable distribution of gains from trade among the genders is a development objective which needs to be addressed through trade policies and trade agreements. Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi highlighted a number of findings that have emerged from a new empirical study by the UNCTAD/DFID/India Project in collaboration with UNDP, on the impact of trade and globalization on gender in India, he stated that women are significant stakeholders in the process of trade, growth and development. This must be recognized and harnessed by Government to make globalization more inclusive with pro-poor impact. Women's groups must be consulted to a greater extent and in a systematic and structured manner, in the formulation of trade policies or negotiating positions, so as to integrate the gender dimension, he suggested.
Broadly, the Conference deliberations suggest a strong and direct relationship between trade performance, gender empowerment and development, explicit and specific attention to gender issues in policy and operational actions, as well as in attitudes, are key conditions for maximizing the gains for gender empowerment through trade and minimizing the costs that can arise. This is important because overall the situation in India and in many developing countries presently is that there is progress towards gender empowerment through trade. Moreover, a gender-sensitive approach to trade must involve a vision of trade as an integral component of wider development efforts to eradicate poverty and promote inclusive, people-centered development.