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n 2010, the IDB approved the Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development (Gender Policy), which has two directives that seek to strengthen the Bank’s response towards promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment: (i) proactive action, which actively promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women through all of the Bank’s development interventions (direct investment and gender mainstreaming); and (ii) preventive action, which introduces safeguards to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on and investment regime, and women or men due to gender re- pursue proactive regional and sulting from the Bank’s actions global economic integration through its financial operations. agendas. These operations proThe IDB’s Trade and Gender Ini- vide support for negotiating and tiative builds on the Gender Po- implementing trade and investlicy by mainstreaming gender ment agreements, promoting in its trade operations, thereby exports and attracting investassisting women’s access to ment, strengthening trade facithe opportunities and benefits litation practices and customs of trade. modernization, and building productive capacity for regional The Integration and Trade Sec- and global integration. tor (INT) provides policy advice and technical assistance, and Within the framework of this carries out financial operations initiative, since 2010 INT has cawith the objective of strengthe- rried out activities focusing on: ning the capacity of countries capacity building and discusin Latin America and Caribbean sion roundtables for trade and (LAC) in the areas of trade and investment promotion organiintegration. In particular, INT’s zation, business workshops operational unit helps countries and matchmaking meetings for to benefit from an open trade women entrepreneurs, design

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market strategies for export promotion programs in sectors with high female participation, and knowledge products on trade and gender issues in partnership with leading institutions in the field, among others. As can be seen in Table 1, there are cross-cutting activities that can promote gender equality and women’s empowerment within INT’s Trade and Investment Initiative at both the institutional level (trade agencies and officials) and within projects targeting women business owners and entrepreneurs in INT’s areas.




• Trade and investment agreements and regulations

•Women business owners and entrepreneurs

• Export promotion and investment attraction

• Government and trade officials

• Customs and trade facilitation

• Market access facilitation through training, capacity building, and incorporation of women-owned businesses (WOBs) and women entrepreneurs into value chains • Foster links among WOBs, women entrepreneurs, government, and trade-related actors and connect them through business networks Institutional strengthening, gender awareness, and advocacy campaigns

Table 2 describes some of the activities and programs that INT has carried out in recent years related to gender initiatives. TABLE 2: TRADE AND GENDER INITIATIVE: EXAMPLES OF GENDER-RELATED ACTIVITIES EXAMPLES

LINES OF ACTION •Capacity-building workshops and discussion roundtables for trade and investment promotion organizations

• Roundtables

In partnership with the North-South Institute (NSI), INT organized two roundtables for trade and investment promotion organizations in the region. The first roundtable, “Promoting Women-Led Enterprises in International Trade: The Latin American Export Promotion Agencies’ Experience,” took place in Lima, Peru, on October 23, 2012. The objectives of the roundtable were (i) to brainstorm and exchange experiences on how these agencies currently promote or could promote women’s participation in the export sectors, (ii) to present some practical ideas and tools on how to introduce a gender focus in their institutions and programs, and (iii) to listen to their demands for the future and discuss proposals for future work on this issue for the countries of the region. The second roundtable, “Integrating Gender Perspectives into Trade Agreements Negotiations,” was held in Bogotá, Colombia, on October 26, 2012, and focused on how to integrate a gender perspective into trade agreements.



•Business workshops for women-owned businesses

Under the framework of LAC Flavors 2013, the workshop Trade in Action brought together experts on different disciplines to help women-owned businesses build a competitive business strategy, guide them with practical tips for their unique businesses, and provide marketing ideas on how to make their product more competitive.


Business matchmaking meetings between women entrepreneurs and potential buyers for their products

This is an annual specialized business matchmaking meeting that brings together SMEs, food exporters, and international buyers from the US and Canada to create new business opportunities. In 2013, a special component targeting women entrepreneurs was added and benefited 60 women business owners from 11 countries who closed business deals worth $2,750,000 USD.

CUSCO REGION’S EXPORT DEVELOPMENT: KAMAQ ARTISAN WOMEN Business plans and market strategies for export promotion programs in sectors with high female participation

This project’s objective is to create a sustainable business model that will improve production techniques, product design, and commercial skills of textile artisan producers in order to enhance their capacity to enter national and international value chains.

INCORPORATING WOMEN BUSINESSES IN INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL CHAINS Incorporation of women-owned businesses into global value chains

This handbook has been developed by INT with the objective of providing guidance for IDB staff in the incorporation of a gender perspective in trade and investment operations, focusing on project design by: i) highlighting the importance of gender mainstreaming in the sector, ii) identifying activities that promote gender equality and women’s empowerment within INT’s Trade and Investment Initiative, and iii) presenting examples of gender-related results indicators.

Together with WeConnect International, this project assists WOBs in Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru to compete more effectively in global value chains and increase their economic productivity as employers. It focuses on the outreach, education, and training processes required to help ensure the WOBs have the knowledge and the networks they need to prepare themselves to compete internationally.

A. Gender and Trade Issues


conomists tend to view trade expansion as an opportunity to achieve a more efficient allocation of resources and enhance productivity and employment levels, thus benefiting the economy as a whole and attaining sustainable development. At the same time, they also recognize that trade affects relative prices, income levels, employment patterns, and the size and type of productive factors with differential impacts across socioeconomic groups, geographical regions, productive sectors, and between men countries with high levels of econoand women. mic development, among other facTrade can benefit women by in- tors, due to their highly skilled labor creasing female employment and and focus on low-labor-intensive closing the gender wage gap, but industries that yield higher impact in order to maintain comparative on their GDP. advantage and foster trade expansion and specialization in specific World Bank statistics show that in commodities in export-oriented 2011 women accounted for 40% sectors, export-oriented industries of the total global labor force but (i.e., textiles, apparel, food proces- only earned 10% of the income. In sing) tend to curb labor costs and 2012, a Booz & Company report increase the gender gap. In Latin noted that increasing women’s America and the Caribbean many participation in the workforce has of the labor-intensive industries, a direct impact on a country’s GDP, particularly textiles and apparel and showed evidence that some and agriculture, are dominated by countries could increase their GDP by raising female employment to women. male levels by 2020, i.e., 5% in the A study undertaken in developed United States, 9% in Japan, 12% in countries showed that trade and the United Arab Emirates, and 34% foreign direct investment tend to in Egypt. reduce the gender wage gap in

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According to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), women have limited access to production technology and their market access is restricted. Very few women entrepreneurs succeed in entering international markets due to issues such as a lack of access to capital, land, production inputs, business premises, information on business opportunities, networks, and business and management training. Donor agencies, multilateral institutions, and NGOs have increasingly paid attention to equality issues in trade policy, trade procedures, export promotion schemes, and business support services. Trade projects have had success in improving women’s income, and improving working conditions and

competitiveness, by both targeting women entrepreneurs and integrating a gender perspective (gender mainstreaming) in trade rules, management, trainings, etc. For example: (a) Targeting women entrepreneurs that could become exporters: • In Ecuador, the Program to Export Toquilla Straw Hats in Azuay and Cañar supported by USAID doubled the artisans’ income; as a result of the project, weavers’ income increased approximately 120% per hat. Project elements included identifying the roles of women in the entire Toquilla Straw Hat value chain, establishing quality standards for the product, improving weavers’ skills and working conditions, and partnering with export businesses to obtain better systems of collection and distribution. • In Peru, the project Expanding Opportunities for Sustainable Economic Participation of Women in Puno (2008–2011) offered training for women artisans who produced goods for tourist markets. Implemented by the NGO Manuela Ramos, the project included activities aiIhiliqu atioriam, iunt asi torpor si nat. med at reinforcing the artisans’ self-esteem and improving their Iquam, asitibus non consedit understanding of their rights. According to the project’s evaluation, there have been positive changes in the women’s control over their income and increased social recognition of the artisans’ associations.

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(b) Gender mainstreaming in trade projects: • Mainstreaming gender in value chain analysis and program design provides an understanding of men’s and women’s access to productive resources and opportunities to produce and add value, both as individual and group enterprises; it helps to plan gender-based division of activities and regulations, and to identify the impact on the distribution of value along the value chain. For example, the maize value chain program implemented in West Africa by USAID included a midterm gender and value chain assessment and found that women were largely responsible for ensuring household food security, which was easier when the grain was stored on-farm. Shifting to off-farm storage had reduced women’s access to the maize for household consumption and increased incentives for selling more maize into the market. Thus, in the project’s second phase, women’s groups were equipped with smaller storage containers that could be used as village grain banks. • Reforms that make trade rules, tariff schedules, and customs regulations more transparent and accessible benefit large and small traders.

Studies on gender dimensions and logistics carried out by the World Bank have found that initiatives that address gender concerns, including women’s reports of high levels of corruption, sexual harassment, and gender-based violence at border crossings, assist women traders and may encourage more informal traders to shift to formal operations. Specific gender-related components of a World Bank project to improve conditions of cross-border traders in the Great Lakes Region of Africa include lighting improvements and installation of a surveillance camera to improve security; capacity building for border officials on basic laws, human rights, and gender-based violence (in addition to regulations, taxes, and fees); and empowerment activities for individual traders and trade associations, including women’s associations.

B. Mainstreaming Gender at Project Design

Mainstreaming gender implies that differences, interests, needs, and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration. Hence, attention to gender equality is central to the whole project cycle (Figure 1). At the institutional level, gender mainstreaming can be introduced as a standalone component or as part of a set of activities within the project.



a. Collect disaggregated data

b. Identify gender issues and consider potential impacts


STEP 2 Develop gender-related results and define indicators

Teams should set out gender-related results and define indicators that must be included in the progress monitoring report (PMR/PSR).


Through the project completion report (PCR) there is the opportunity to undertake a gender analysis focusing on effectiveness, sustainability, safeguards, and findings or recommendations.

Gender mainstreaming handbook2  
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