A decline in trade resulting from shrinking global markets may cost many women in developing countries their jobs, the head of the United Nations agency that promotes commerce to fight poverty warned today.Click through for the full statement.
Governments should consider including measures to bolster women’s employment and support small businesses run by women as they craft economic stimulus packages, Supachai Panitchpakdi, Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said at the start of a two-day meeting of experts on the theme, “mainstreaming gender in trade policy.”
Due to rapid growth in exports at the beginning of the new millennium, women have been heavily employed in the export sector, accounting for as many as 80 per cent of the textile industry workforce in developing countries and making them vulnerable to the turmoil in global trading. UNCTAD estimates that merchandise exports from developing countries could drop by 15.5 per cent in 2009, which Mr. Supachai said was an optimistic forecast.
He told participants at the Geneva conference that there have been documented cases where women have been penalized by trade integration.
It'll be interesting to see how John Key's Government might tackle the particular issues as they relate to women, given that they didn't even bother to talk to their Minister of Women's Affairs before cancelling two pay equity investigations.