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WTO Public Forum 2023 – It’s Time For Action
14 September 2023 @ 9:00 am - 10:15 am
OWIT UK is delighted to be once again co-hosting a working session at this year’s WTO Public Forum with the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) and the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the WTO.
This year’s Public Forum, entitled “It is Time for Action”, will feature 131 sessions from 12 to 15 September 2023. Sessions are organized by WTO member governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, academia and international organizations, with many livestreamed on the WTO website.
The Forum opens with a Presidential Lecture delivered by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. His lecture will provide insights into the convergence of trade, technology, and inclusive development. Following this, Gordon Brown will sit for a frank, face-to-face conversation with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on the global economy and the challenges facing global trade.
The OWIT UK session takes place on Thursday 14th September at 9am.
Session Title: Catalysing Green Trade: Indigenous Women Entrepreneurs Shaping Sustainable Policies
Session subtheme: Inclusive policies for the advancement of green trade
Climate change is not gender-neutral. The impact of the climate crisis disproportionately affects women, particularly those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. The crisis amplifies existing gender inequalities by increasing women’s vulnerabilities and threatening their means of subsistence. Women entrepreneurs are essential contributors to trade – and thus important agents of change. Because of their substantial knowledge of the land, indigenous women are more likely to implement green practices in their production. Thus, including them in global supply chains can address climate change by increasing sustainable trade while improving women’s economic well-being.
Still, women typically face more obstacles when setting up businesses, accessing finance, and entering global markets. The WTO and the UNPFII have previously acknowledged the importance of mainstreaming gendered trade policies for women’s economic empowerment and increasing the inclusion and diversity of women in trade. By sharing the unique experience of indigenous women, policies that reduce gender-related barriers and empower green trade can be created.
This session will adopt a bottom-up approach to look at the challenges facing indigenous women involved in sustainable trade. It will propose inclusive green policies, evidenced by the lived experience of indigenous women, that can support bringing others into sustainable global supply chains.
The impact of the climate crisis disproportionately affects women, particularly those who rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. As valuable contributors to sustainable trade, learnings from indigenous women’s green practices and experiences are key to addressing climate change.
This session will showcase stories from indigenous traders and examine the challenges and issues they face as they embark on their entrepreneurial journeys, looking at the inclusive green policies that can support them and bring them into global supply chains.
Representatives from academia, NGOs, inter-governmental organisations and global trade experts will share best practices for inclusive policies. Session outcomes will include recommendations for national governments to create a policy environment that fosters inclusive green trade, from grassroots through the supply chain.
It will link with the established United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), which provides a platform for indigenous women to engage with states on sustainable development issues, including trade.
Several interactive activities will be organized throughout the Forum, and participants will have the chance to explore various exhibitions that shed light on the role of international trade in achieving environmental sustainability.
We look forward to having you join our conversation.