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56th UNCITRAL session – Empowering Women in International Trade

ICDO President Ms. Josipa Palac and Treasury Mr. Toni Pehar were invited to participate on 56th UNCITRAL session in United Nations Headquarters in Vienna, Austria for the topic of “Empowering Women in International Trade”.

Trade has improved the living standards of women around the globe. Trade creates better jobs for women, businesses involved in international trade employ more women and countries that are more open to trade have higher levels of gender equality. However, women still face many barriers
that prevent them from gaining greater trade opportunities.

In addition, measures to promote trade, although gender-neutral, can affect women and men differently. A better understanding of the relationship between women and trade is essential to promote a more inclusive trade environment and identify women-supportive policies. [WB Group and WTO, Women and Trade -the role of trade in promoting gender equality, 2020].
Facilitating access to credit is among the measures that can reduce the legal obstacles women entrepreneurs and women-owned micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face and help ensure that they can fully benefit from trade opportunities, including engaging in international trade. In this respect, UNCITRAL work on access to credit can play a key role. It provides for
inclusive and non-discriminatory standards that draw on the best practices and legal principles of the world’s various economic and legal systems.

This side event focused on women entrepreneurs and the many MSMEs owned by women and how gender-responsive measures can support them. This will also help us understand how UNCITRAL texts facilitating access to credit can contribute to close the gender finance gap.


  • Ms. Anna Joubin-Bret, the Secretary of UNCITRAL and Director, International Trade Law Division,U.N. Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)
  • Ms. Carmen Schuber, Gender Expert, Unit for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women,UNIDO
  • Dr. Adela Llatja, Gender Focal Person Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit(GIZ) Albania
  • Ms. Claudia Guevara, Minister, Deputy Head of Mission and Gender Focal Point, International Gender Champions, Vienna Hub, Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations (Vienna)
  • Ms. Monica Canafoglia, Legal Officer, International Trade Law Division, U.N. Office of Legal Affairs (OLA)