Economic policies impact different segments of the population, including men and women, in different ways. In turn, gender inequalities impact on trade policy outcomes and economic growth. Taking into account gender perspectives in macro-economic policy is essential to pursuing inclusive and sustainable development and to achieving fairer and beneficial outcomes for all.
UNCTAD plays a key role in ensuring that gender concerns are incorporated in a meaningful way in macroeconomic policies, including trade policy. Through its work programme on Trade, Gender and Development, UNCTAD supports its member countries to assess the distinct effect of macro-economic policies on men and women, boys and girls. This helps them integrate gender considerations in policy formulation and implementation, as well as in the negotiations of trade and other agreements at the multilateral, regional and bilateral levels.
The Doha Mandate on gender-related issues
Under the overall Policy Analysis, Paragraphs 8 of the Doha Mandate lists gender equality and women's empowerment among the goals which are essential to all countries to attain. Under Sub-theme 3, in the Policy Analysis section, Paragraph 51 states that "the empowerment of women is of crucial importance, among others for harnessing the potential for inclusive growth and development". It calls upon the international community to tackle obstacles to women's empowerment, including gender bias and income inequality, through appropriate measures. In the operative section of Sub-theme 3, para 56 calls on UNCTAD to "Continue its work in the area of agriculture in the context of commodities to help developing countries achieve more sustainable and strengthened agricultural production, food security and export capacity. This work should take into account the needs of small-scale farmers, and empowerment of women and youths" (sub-para i). Moreover, "…UNCTAD should…Reinforce its work on the links between gender equality, women's empowerment, and trade and development, without prejudice to other programmes" (sub-para n).