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    UN Resources: Women in the Global Economy


    International Trade Forum - Issue 3-4/2008 

    The United Nations has a wide range of information resources related to women in the global economy.

    They look at women's business and trade issues on topics as diverse as labour rights, intellectual property, agriculture and more. Here is a sample of what is available.


    The UN information gateway on women's issues 

    This online gateway to women's issues at the UN has a wealth of information on gender campaigns, events, programmes and publications. It links to all UN entities that promote gender equality. Information is available in several UN languages.

    The site contains a list of UN bodies with a specialization in gender issues: www.un.org/womenwatch/un_entities 

    Women Watch web site: www.un.org/womenwatch 


    Training materials: gender equality and women's empowerment

    UN-INSTRAW is the UN institute devoted to research, training and knowledge management on women's issues. Its online library offers over 100 publications on issues such as gender and remittances, governance and migration. The Gender Training Wiki page offers resources for trainers, academics and development experts.

    See UN-INSTRAW online training resources: http://www.un-instraw.org/ 


    Online resources: economic empowerment UNIFEM, the lead UN agency for women's issues, has initiatives that focus on the economic empowerment of women, such as gender responsive budgeting, financing for gender equality and working with migrant women.


    International Labour Organization

    Campaign: Gender equality at the heart of decent work In 2008, the International Labour Organization launched a global campaign on gender equality in the world of work. Through twelve themes, the campaign looks at access to rights, employment, social protection and social dialogue through a gender lens. Maternity protection, combating child labour and breaking through gender stereotypes in youth employment are among the topics.

    Campaign materials, links to relevant projects and publications are online, grouped by theme: www.ilo.org/gender/Events/Campaign2008-2009 

    World Intellectual Property Organization

    Online resources: Women and Intellectual Property The World Intellectual Property Organization devotes part of its web site to intellectual property issues and activities of interest to women. These include recognition and protection of women's contributions to the visual and performing arts, in music and in literature. WIPO also looks at the percentage of women employed in property offices and copyright administrations around the world. Out of a total of 401 national and regional industrial property offices and copyright administrations, 24% are headed by women.

    See WIPO's web page on Women and Intellectual Property at: www.wipo.int/women-and-ip 

    Food and Agriculture Organization, International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Bank

    Joint publication: Gender in Agriculture Sourcebook This joint publication investigates the status of women in the rural workforce and overcoming challenges they face. While women are vital agricultural producers and agents of food and nutritional security, they lack relative access to land and finance; face constraints in participating in collectives, such as agricultural cooperatives or water use associations; and tend to lack political voice. Gender inequalities result in less food being grown, less income being earned, and higher levels of poverty and food insecurity. Addressing gender issues in such an important sector for low-income developing countries is a key to reducing poverty.

    To access the sourcebook online, see: www.worldbank.org, www.fao.org or http://www.ifad.org/ 

    World Meteorological Organization

    Meteo World NEWSLETTER: The role of women in agricultural development An article on the role of women in agriculture appears in the October 2008 edition of Meteo World. It stresses the need for grass-roots, market-based initiatives that contribute to agricultural sustainability and socio-economic progress.

    See: www.wmo.int/pages/publications/meteoworld/women_en.html 

    International Trade Centre

    Trade Forum online collection: Women in the Economy ITC's magazine has over 100 articles on women and trade, grouped under the category "women in the economy". Case studies, success stories, resources, networking lists and policy examples from governments, business and NGOs are available to inspire and encourage women to connect to international markets.

    See: http://www.tradeforum.org/ and click on Women in the Economy

    United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and UNIFEM

    JOINT PUBLICATION: BRIDGING THE GAP - FINANCING GENDER EQUALITY Links between gender equality, public policy and development financing are featured. It examines national budget planning processes and relevant international commitments, especially the Monterrey Consensus and the Paris Declaration. It includes advocacy tools to empower women in development financing.


    United Nations High Commission for Refugees

    ONLINE RESOURCES: ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE FOR REFUGEE WOMEN UNHCR's web site has a part dedicated to women refugees, with publications, statistics and project information. Its Women Leading for Livelihoods initiative promotes economic independence of refugee and displaced women, with language and literacy training, vocational and skills training, micro-credit and small business centres and more.


    World Bank

    World Bank Group Action Plan: Gender Equality as Smart Economics The plan targets women's empowerment in economic sectors, most importantly, infrastructure-energy, transport, and water and sanitation; agriculture; private sector development; and finance.

    The Plan is available in six languages at: web.worldbank.org 

    International Finance Corporation

    Gender Entrepreneurship Markets Programme This programme aims to mainstream gender issues into the IFC's work, and leverage untapped gender potential in emerging markets. IFC provides financial products and advisory services to increase access to finance for women entrepreneurs, reduce gender-based barriers in the business environment and improve sustainability of IFC investment projects


    For your reading list

    Why Women Mean Business'

    Aviva Wittenberg-Cox and Alison Maitland. John Wiley Press, 2008.

    'Equality for Women: Where do we stand on Millennium Development Goal 3?'
    Buvinic, Morrison, Ofosu-Amaagh, Sj_blom, editors World Bank, 2008.

    'Stuck at the small-scale level'
    Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, D+C Development and Cooperation magazine, GTZ, 2007. Online: www.inwent.org/ez/index.en.shtml

    'Domains of Influence - Arab Women Business Leaders in a New Economy'
    Jacqueline Hassink, I.B.TAURIS, 2008

    End note: Thanks to the United Nations Editors Group members who generously provided information and contacts for this article.