Accra conference to focus on women’s contributions, needs in trade policy formulations

A conference on trade policy to be held in Accra, Ghana this week, will focus on the contributions and needs of women in future trade policy formulations and practices.

A press release from the Africa Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) one of the organisers says the conference aims to assist trade policy makers, including Regional Economic Communities (RECs)  to  better  reflect women’s contributions and needs in future trade policy  formulation  and  practices.

To be held November 12 to 14, 2012 with the theme ” Mainstreaming Gender into Trade Policy”, it will emphasise the need to increase women’s voices in trade policy and negotiations, the release said.

“Women stand at the crossroads between production and reproduction, between economic  activity  and  the  care  of  human beings, and therefore between economic growth and human development,” Alan  Kyerematen, Coordinator of the ATPC was cited as saying in the release.

He argued further that  even though, women make up the most of the informal sector of the economy, policies  neglect  the  role  of women traders.

“If harnessed, they have the potential  to  contribute to turning around Africa’s poor trade performance,” he said.

According to Mr. Kyerematen, gender responsive trade policies can place countries in a better position to exploit the opportunities for men and women within the international trading system, he says and adds that the shift would bring about  benefits brought about by unlocking the potential, particularly for women, who are both producers and cross border traders in Africa.

The  Conference  is being organized by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) as part  of  the  United  Nations  Economic  Commission  for  Africa  (ECA) in collaboration  with  the ECA Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Division (RITD), the African Centre for Gender and Social Development (ACGSD) of the ECA with support from Canadian funds.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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