In 2004, working with key partners in U.S. civil society, multilateral institutions, and the academic community, GFI spearheaded a dialog around the simple notion that, since employment – jobs – is the single most important economic factor for the vast majority of the world’s population, widespread sustainable employment needs to be a part of the global development agenda. We believe that sustainable job creation – not wealth creation that leads to the creation of new jobs – should be central to globalization.
The Women’s Trade & Finance Council has been created to alleviate poverty by fostering greater inclusion of women’s productivity in global trade flows. The Council’s overarching objective is to influence trade and finance policies at the international and national levels. In addition, the Council seeks to cultivate North-South and South-South linkages that expand market and business opportunities, thereby contributing in measurable terms to sustainable livelihoods.
Originally conceptualized by Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Reema Nanavaty of the Self Employed Women’s Association in India (SEWA), the Women’s Trade & Finance Council has been established by the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI) in partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership. The Council is comprised of grassroots leaders, international businesswomen, policymakers and thought leaders, all of whom share a commitment to strengthening the role of women in the global economy. The Council also engages practitioners, policy experts, economists and others whose knowledge of gender and trade issues bolsters the credibility and efficacy of its work.
Given its composition, the Women’s Trade & Finance Council is uniquely positioned to pursue a dual-track approach to (1) leverage its high-impact capacity to influence global trade and finance policymakers, and (2) foster practical linkages that yield near-term business opportunities.
Through its convening power and access to international policymakers, Council members are well positioned to raise awareness about the gender aspects of international trade and finance, and to propose reforms that will promote sustainable livelihoods and strengthen developing economies. The Council is structured to examine and develop solutions to such practical issues as financing terms, market access barriers, production constraints and supply chain management challenges. In addition, the Council serves as a forum through which potential partners can pursue pioneering commercial opportunities and share best practices.