Regional countries should always consider gender in policy formulation and implementation, as well as in the negotiations of trade and other agreements because it is key to economic growth, Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD Secretary General, has said.
Speaking during the launch of an online training course for COMESA countries on the “links between trade and gender” on Monday, Kituyi (pictured right) said mainstreaming gender would ensure equity and inclusion in the region’s development agenda.
The training would focus on the interactions between trade and gender and their links to the Common Market for East and Southern African (COMESA) countries’ inclusive development strategies, as well as the influence of trade integration on gender outcomes in different economic sectors among member countries.
It will also look at the development of knowledge and skills for the design and implementation of gender-aware trade and development policies as per the needs and interests of COMESA countries.
The course was organised by UNCTAD’s trade, gender and development programme and COMESA’s gender and social affairs division, and is part of a capacity-building project on trade and gender funded by Finland and Sweden. It started on May 29 and ends on July 23.
The eight-week course has attracted 80 participants from 19 countries, including government officials, researchers, civil society representatives and the COMESA secretariat staff members.