Applying gender lens on sustainability standards and certification systems for international trade
Systemic gender inequalities and the disempowerment of women persist in agricultural production across the Global South. Implementing Voluntary Sustainability Standards can provide opportunities to enhance women´s economic empowerment, improve food security and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
- 08 Mar 2021
- More information
- Online session from 2:00pm – 3:45pm (CET).
Implementing Voluntary Sustainability Standards can provide opportunities to enhance women´s economic empowerment, improve food security and achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. VSS have the potential to make significant contributions to sustainable development due to their influence on certification criteria and implementing procedures with farmers and agricultural communities. Even so, certification does not directly promote women´s rights to land, only indirectly impacts women´s land access when men have emigrated. Certification has sometimes reinforced gender asymmetries in access to production-related information and training. On the one hand, we see opportunities with respect to VSS uptake, but on the other hand, we also see imbalances when it comes to the structure of VSS implementation. Clearly, there is a need to develop outreach programs that targets women through global awareness; and national policies that fosters gender inclusivity.
Join the online diaologue
This International Women´s Day, the UNFSS joined hands with the Organization of Women in International Trade to focus on a dialogue “Applying Gender Lens on Sustainability Standards and Certification Systems for International Trade”. Together with key partners the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), African Organisation for Standardisation (ARSO), International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and ISEAL, this dialogue aims to:
- raise global awareness on the issues most women entrepreneurs and exporters in developing countries face with regards to the certification systems. Even if they can see the benefits of complying to standards, the issue they often faced with are the lacking means of financial access, capacity and institutional support
- put forward policy recommendations on ways to better facilitate an infrastructure that eases women entrepreneurs to certify their products
- discuss differentiated impacts of standards compliance for women in international trade, and its best practices to foster gender equality and women empowerment
- Opening by Santiago Fernandez de Cordoba, Senior Economist and UNFSS Coordinator, UNCTAD
- Setting-the-Scene by Blessing Irabor, President, Organization for Women in International Trade (OWIT) Nigeria
- Impulse Givers:
- Kathleen Sexsmith, Assistant Professor, Gender Expert, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
- Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana, Secretary General, African Organization for Standardization (ARSO)
- Elisabeth Tuerk, Director, Economic Cooperation and Trade, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
- Noelia Garcia Nebra, Programme Manager, Gender Action, International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
- Vidya Rangan, Senior Manager, Impacts and Evidence, ISEAL
- Moderated by Siti Rubiah Lambert, Sustainability Expert, UNFSS Secretariat, UNCTAD
- Intervention and Q&A
- Concluding Remarks by Camelia Mazard, President, Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT) International