unctad.org | Single-year Expert meeting on mainstreaming gender in trade policy
Single-year Expert meeting on mainstreaming gender in trade policy
09 - 11 March 2009

Key Issues

The topic of the expert meeting was approved by the extended Bureau of the Trade and Development Board on 29 August 2008.

The Accra Accord requested UNCTAD to "strengthen its work on the linkages between trade and internationally agreed development goals and objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, including poverty reduction and gender equality" (para. 96 (d)).

Globalization and trade liberalization are often assumed to be gender-neutral. As a result, national priorities for trade policies and trade negotiations are generally determined with little gender analysis. Yet globalization and trade liberalization have different effects on women and men because of their different access to and control of economic and social resources, decision-making and participation.

Mainstreaming gender in trade policy means:

  1. Assessing which impacts trade policies and trade liberalization could have on the well-being of men and women, under the assumption that distinct sectors and groups within a country will be impacted differently; and consequently

  2. Formulating trade policies and pacing trade liberalization in a gender-sensitive manner.

The expert meeting will:

  • Discuss the impact of trade policies on gender by presenting cases where trade liberalization has been associated with rising employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for women, as well as cases where trade liberalization has exacerbated existing gender inequalities and worsened women´s economic and social status.

  • Offer a forum where different stakeholders including the members of the United Nations Task Force on Gender and Trade may exchange experiences and present the main findings of their relevant work.

  • Provide the opportunity to discuss relevant strategies to make trade policies more responsive to gender considerations. Within this context, specific policies and instruments will be analysed and their possible implementation at the national, regional and/or multilateral levels will be discussed.

  • Present the occasion for member countries to agree on possible further activities that UNCTAD, in cooperation with the United Nations Task Force on Gender and Trade and other relevant stakeholders, may be requested to carry on in order to further promote and advocate gender mainstreaming in trade policy.

Input from experts

Experts nominated by member States are encouraged to submit brief papers (approximately five pages) as contributions to the work of the meeting.

The papers should be submitted by 27 February 2009.

The papers will be made available at the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Submit papers to:

Ms. Simonetta Zarrilli
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10

F.: +41 (0)22 917 5622
E.: simonetta.zarrilli@unctad.org



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The single-year expert meeting on mainstreaming gender in trade policy will be held on 10 and 11 March 2009, in room XXVI of the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It will be opened at 10 a.m. on Tuesday 10 March.


Member States of UNCTAD are requested to nominate experts at an early date and not later than 25 February 2009.

Experts, who will participate in the meeting in a personal capacity, are expected to have proven expertise in the subject, and may be selected from governmental and non-governmental organizations, academia and the private sector. Experts, including those from international and regional organizations dealing with issues related to the topic, may be invited as resource persons.

Specialized agencies and intergovernmental bodies wishing to participate in the meeting, as well as non-governmental organizations in the general category and those in the special category wishing to participate as observers, are requested to inform the UNCTAD secretariat of the names of their representatives by 25 February 2009.

Financial assistance

Depending on the availability of funding in the Trust Fund for Financing the Participation of Experts at the time, funds may be made available to finance the participation of a limited number of officially nominated experts from developing countries and countries with economies in transition. Governments requiring funding are therefore invited to explicitly request financing in their letters of nomination. The decision as to which experts should receive financing will be based on the principle of equitable geographical representation; needs of beneficiaries, in particular LDCs; and the expertise of the experts concerned. Changes in nominated experts will be considered as new nominations.

Nominations with requests for financing should be received no later than 13 February 2009 and should be accompanied by the following information about the nominee:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Mailing address
  • Telephone and fax number
  • E-mail address
  • Name of a contact person in the Permanent Mission in Geneva

It should be noted in this connection that once the list of experts to be financed has been finalized, all travel arrangements will be made in accordance with United Nations rules and regulations, and use of the least costly fare will be authorized.

Background documents and contributed papers

The provisional agenda for the meeting, together with the secretariat´s annotations thereto, will be circulated as document TD/B/C.I/EM.2/1. In order to facilitate the discussion, the UNCTAD secretariat has prepared two notes which are being circulated as TD/B/C.I/EM.2/2 and TD/B/C.I/EM.2/3.

Experts are encouraged to prepare and submit brief papers (approximately five pages) to the UNCTAD secretariat related to their studies, findings, and/or country´s experience.

The papers will be made available to the meeting in the form and language in which they are received.

Papers should be submitted by 27 February 2009 and be addressed to:

Ms. Simonetta Zarrilli
Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

fax +41 (0) 22 917 0044
e-mail: simonetta.zarrilli@unctad.org


The meeting will take place at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Palais des Nations. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in the six official languages of the United Nations.

Upon arrival, participants are requested, before entering the Palais des Nations, to collect their badges at the United Nations Security Service, Pregny Gate entrance, 14 Avenue de la Paix. The Security Service is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (non-stop). Because of the security measures in force, participants are strongly advised to arrive before 9 a.m. in order to complete entry procedures in good time and proceed to the meeting in the E Building (Bâtiment E) of the Palais. Participants are requested to carry a passport or similar national identity card with them. Taxis are not allowed to enter the grounds of the Palais des Nations, and visitors will therefore be dropped off at the requested entrance gates. Furthermore, luggage may not be brought into the buildings unless the Security Service gives special clearance.

Further information and contact details

Nominations and related communications concerning representation at the meeting should be sent to the UNCTAD secretariat, Intergovernmental Support Service, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10; fax: + 41(0) 22 917 0214; e-mail: meetings@unctad.org. All other enquiries should be addressed to the coordinator, tel.: +41 (0)22 917 5622, fax: +41 (0)22 917 0044, e-mail: simonetta.zarrilli@unctad.org.


Supachai Panitchpakdi
Secretary-General of UNCTAD
29 January 2009


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