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    Integrating Women


    International Trade Forum - Issue 2/2007, © International Trade Centre

    © Photo Bianco

    Targeting entrepreneurs

    "Our slogan in the Egyptian Business Women's Association is: financial independence gives you the power of choice and voice. We have a marketing committee that goes to women entrepreneurs to see what products they have and what they need, such as product development, finishing and quality control. We bring them together into sectors - we have a very good sector for garments, textiles and jewellery. And we try to create marketing tools - brochures and CDs - and organize fairs locally, regionally and internationally. If they cannot be present, we make the contacts for them."
    Amany Asfour, President, Egyptian Business Women's Association


    © Photo Bianco



    Bridging policy circles

    "Cambodia is growing 8% a year but the number of poor is not going down. This is especially affecting youth and women… We are talking about working together, but social issues are not in. Gender is not in. Women are contributing actively, but often they are in the informal sector. How will we bring equity for women in trade policy? It's very difficult to be part of your meetings. This is one of first economic or trade meetings involving a Minister of Women's Affairs… If we are to reach the MDGs [Millennium Development Goals], gender equity must be achieved in all sectors, including trade."
    Ing Khantha Phavi, Minister of Women's Affairs, Cambodia




    Beyond market access

    "If you only provide market access through trade agreements, you have the sound of one hand clapping. If you don't provide countries the opportunity to use the market access benefits that they get in trade agreements, you haven't done anything. "The 'ACCESS!' programme addresses an issue we also face in Canada - the systemic barriers to access to services and economic development that face women in particular. The programme addresses economic, cultural and social barriers to women entrepreneurs' access, by providing, in partnership with ITC, access to export market information and training. We put women entrepreneurs in direct contact on one side with exporters and mentors, and on the other side with buyers and importers… Thus far the results have been very positive… [with] training to about 30 trainers who, in turn, trained about 300 African businesswomen. Over 70 enterprises benefited from mentorship services in areas like preparing exports strategies, negotiating with buyers, planning trade fairs and the like."
    Don Stephenson, Ambassador of Canada to the WTO


    © Photo Bianco, © J. N. Musoke