Gender and Development Forum - High-level Panel: Shaping gender-responsive economies and societies - What role for trade?

Gender and Development Forum - High-level Panel: Shaping gender-responsive economies and societies - What role for trade?
27 September 2021
16:00 - 18:30 hrs. (CEST) / 10:00-12:30 hrs. (AST)
Virtual Conference Centre, Bougainvillea Auditorium

As governments worldwide seek to “build back better” from the pandemic, it appears evident that the goal of resilient, inclusive, and sustainable societies cannot be achieved if the gap between women and men, which pre-existed the pandemic and was magnified by it, persists.

Addressing and overcoming the longstanding barriers women face in public and economic life must be at the top of the new agenda and should be incorporated into a wide range of policies. Increasing women's beneficial participation in trade will result from appropriate domestic policies, and from trade policies that support more inclusive outcomes for all.


The high-level panel will be result-oriented. Speakers will share their experience in dealing with gender and economic issues. They will present the goals achieved and the shortcoming faced during their journey, be it in policymaking, advocacy, business, philanthropy, or research.

They will also provide concrete ideas on how UNCTAD work on trade and gender may further contribute to the goal of empowering women and creating equal opportunities for all in the current economic and social environment.


The event will include two components:

  1. A high-level panel discussion with policymakers, representatives of civil society, private sector, the academia, and intergovernmental organizations.
  2. The announcement of the winners of an essay competition launched by UNCTAD among the alumni of its online courses on trade and gender.


Opening remarks

  • Ms. Isabelle Durant, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD


  • Ms. Eleanor Wragg, Senior Reporter, GTR, Trade Trade Review

Session I – Gender equality and trade policymaking : the role of bilateral, regional and global trade policy initiatives alongside domestic policies


  • H.E. Ms. Béata Habyarimana, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
  • H.E. Mr. Ville Skinnari, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade, Finland
  • Ms. Ana Guezmes, Chief, Gender Affairs Division, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean - ECLAC

Session II – Announcement of the winner of the alumni essay competition on trade and gender


Session III – Trade as a driver of gender equality in the post-pandemic recovery: perspectives from civil society, the private sector and the academia


  • Ms. Trudi Hartzenberg, Executive Director, Trade Law Centre (tralac) South Africa
  • Mr. Andrew Dunnett, Director of SDG , Sustainability and Foundations, Vodaphone Group Plc
  • Ms. Eudine Barriteau, Professor of Gender and Public Policy, University of West Indies Cave Hills Campus, Barbados


Visit the virtual conference centre


Isabelle Durant
Deputy Secretary-General
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Ms. Isabelle Durant, of Belgium, is Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD. From February to 12 September 2021, she headed the organization as Acting Secretary-General before the appointment of a new UNCTAD Secretary-General on 13 September 2021. Prior to holding this position, she served the organization for over three years as UNCTAD’s Deputy Secretary-General.

Ms. Durant had a distinguished career in Belgian and European politics. She held the offices of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Transport and Energy and Senator in the Belgian Government. She also served as Vice-President of the European Parliament and Presidency of the European Union Council of Ministers of Transport.

Ms. Durant has a wealth of experience collaborating with civil society and the private sector as well, notably as the Vice-President responsible for relations between the European Parliament and civil society. Finally, Ms. Durant has held posts as a senior consultant on the empowerment of women in local government for the UNDP and as a member of Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium.

Eleanor Wragg

Eleanor Wragg is a senior reporter at GTR, where she covers the trade, export, commodity and supply chain finance markets, as well as the political risk and trade credit insurance, treasury and fintech sectors. With over a decade’s experience in journalism, her work has been published in media outlets including the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Die Welt and the Economic Observer of China.

She also regularly produces analytical and research work on gender and trade for organisations including UNDP, UNWTO, the British Business Bank, the Mastercard Foundation for Inclusive Growth, and the Bill and Melinda Gates-backed initiative, Women and Girls Deeply.

Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana
Minister of Trade and Industry
Government of Rwanda

H.E. Ms Beata Uwamaliza Habyarimana is the Minister of Trade and Industry of Rwanda since March 15, 2021. She is an economist and financial advisor by profession with over 19 years of experience in the financial industry in both domestic, Pan-African and international institutions.

Prior to her appointment, Minister Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana served as Deputy Managing Director of Bank of Africa, Chief Executive officer of Agaseke Bank and Head of Compliance at Banque Populaire du Rwanda. Her area of expertise covers business reshuffling and organizational change. She also played a key role in establishing the Financial Ethics and Compliance function within the financial industry by setting up the first Compliance forum under the Rwanda Bankers association.

Having been among the first female managing directors in the Rwandan banking sector and following her experience in SMEs financing, her personal action focuses on the persistent issue of women financial empowerment. Minister Béata is a founding member of New Faces New Voices Rwanda Chapter - a Pan-African advocacy group that focuses on expanding the role and influence of women in the financial sector- and a founding member of Rugori Investment Network, a new Trust Fund created by women and for women investment products. Minister Béata also sits on various Governance Bodies.

Minister Béata Uwamaliza Habyarimana holds a Master of Business Administration majoring in Finance from Maastricht School of Management in Netherlands and a Bachelor degree in Public Economics from the University of Rwanda.

Ville Skinnari
Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade
Government of Finland

H.E. Mr. Ville Skinnari has been serving as a Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Sanna Marin since 2019 and has been member of the Finnish Parliament since 2015.

Earlier in his career, he worked in the field of international trade, and worked as a freelance journalist in Japan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Ana Güezmes
Chief, Gender Affairs Division
Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Ms. Ana Güezmes is Chief of the Gender Affairs Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Defender of women's human rights and gender equality, Dr. Güezmes has been representative of UN Women in Colombia and in Mexico, and sub-regional director of UN Women for Mexico, Central America, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, as well as regional advisor to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.

Trudi Hartzenberg
Executive Director
tralac (Trade Law Centre)

Ms. Trudi Hartzenberg is the Executive Director of tralac (Trade Law Centre) based in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

Her research is in the areas of international trade, competition policy, industrial development and Africa's integration agenda. She currently serves on the WTO Chairs Advisory Committee and is a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

Andrew Dunnett
Vodafone Group Foundation

Mr. Andrew Dunnett joined Vodafone as Director of the Vodafone Foundation in 2006. Andrew was previously an adviser to the Sustainable Development unit at the UK Department of Trade and Industry with specific responsibility for the CSR Academy, the lead initiative of the DTI’s CSR programme.

Andrew has fifteen years experience in corporate responsibility, community investment and public affairs, including advising organisations such as BTEC, the BBC, the Commission for Racial Equality and Thames Water. He also led a corporate community investment project in the City of London whilst Director of the St Ethelburga’s Foundation.

In addition to his work directing Vodafone’s foundation programme, Andrew is a Trustee of the M-Pesa Foundation (Kenya) and a Board member of the M-Health Alliance (USA) and served as a member of the UK Government’s Longitude Committee.

Violet Eudine Barriteau
Professor of Gender and Public Policy
University of the West Indies at Cave Hill

Ms. Violet Eudine Barriteau is Professor of Gender and Public Policy at the University of West Indies Cave Hill in Barbados.

Professor Barriteau's research interests encompass transformational educational leadership, feminist theorizing and investigations of the Caribbean political economy, and gender and public policy.

On 2019, the Government of Barbados conferred on her The Order of Freedom of Barbados, the country's highest national honour.

Government of Barbados

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