The North-South Institute


Thinking Equal on Trade: Supporting Women and the Economy

Women are key players in domestic and international trade and evidence suggests that a country’s growth and economic performance is heightened when women are able to more productively engage with and benefit from trade.

But in many places women experience gender-related constraints. For example, women have less access to credit to grow their businesses, experience higher levels of harassment and corruption when trading and often have less access to information about trading regulations and opportunities.

Failing to tackle these constraints can further entrench existing gender inequalities. It can also limit economic productivity and the opportunity for countries to reap the full benefits of international trade. This means that there are compelling economic and equity reasons for taking action.

In 2012, NSI was commissioned by the World Bank to provide evidence-based, practical guidance on how gender can be integrated into trade-related policies and programs. A key output from this work is a guidance note on the gender dimensions of trade facilitation and logistics.


Policy Brief: Supporting Trade and Gender Equality: Operationalizing the Women’s Economic Empowerment Agenda Through Trade Facilitation, Infrastructure and Logistics Initiatives, Summer 2012.

Report: Gender Dimensions of Trade Facilitations and Logistics, Kate Higgins (NSI) for the World Bank, April 2012.

For more information, please contact:

Kate Higgins
Senior Researcher