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ECLAC highlights the importance of gender mainstreaming in trade policy

19 May 2022|Briefing note

The Division for Gender Affairs of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) participated in the Mujer Exportasv Program launch on May 18, 2022. The event aimed to present the new program of the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of El Salvador (PROESA) to empower and promote economic development in women entrepreneurs with export potential.

It is key to simultaneously advance the inclusion of the gender perspective in policies to promote export entrepreneurship and design specific programs to close gender gaps in access to business opportunities and information networks. Acting on these two fronts is essential to promote women’s economic autonomy in the region.

These were some of the reflections shared by Nicole Bidegain Ponte, Social Affairs Officer of ECLAC's Division for Gender Affairs, during the launch of the Mujer Exportasv Program. The meeting was held on May 18, 2022, in San Salvador and was organized by the Export and Investment Promotion Agency of El Salvador (PROESA).

Also participated in the event Salvador Gómez Góchez, President of PROESA; Andrea Pérez, Director of Innovation and Competitiveness at Ministry of Economy of El Salvador (MINEC); Miriam Bandes Zablah, Acting Head of the Office of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) of El Salvador; María Lilián López, Director of the Salvadoran Institute for the Development of Women (ISDEMU); Claudia Campos Monge, Researcher-analyst of the external sector department of the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) and Mario Tenorio, Director of Exports of PROESA.

Nicole Bidegain Ponte added that the launch of the Program is another milestone in the technical assistance work provided to El Salvador by ECLAC –through the Division for Gender Affairs and the Division for International Trade and Integration– to promote the integration of gender in the trade policy of that country. In addition, ECLAC has provided technical support for the generation of gender and trade statistics, capacity building for trade negotiations and the design of export promotion strategies with a gender perspective.

The Social Affairs Officer also pointed out that this initiative is in line with what was agreed by the Governments in the Montevideo Strategy for the Implementation of the Regional Gender Agenda, in which it is proposed to align trade policies with women's rights to through 10 implementation axes. She recalled that with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), trade, more than an end, is a means to achieve sustainable development with gender equality (SDG 17 and SDG 5 synergy).

Bidegain Ponte concluded her presentation by emphasizing that, in Latin America and the Caribbean, for international trade to contribute to women's economic autonomy and sustainability of life, it is necessary to diversify the productive and trade structure and strengthen integration and complementation productive in the region.

More information:

See the presentation “Gender and Global Trade from a Gender Perspective” (available in Spanish).