The eTrade for Women Network, an initiative to connect women leaders in e-commerce, has been launched by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
The announcement was part of UNCTAD’s fifth eCommerce Week, held in Geneva, Switzerland. UNCTAD announced: “Digital transformation is a gamechanger. But only if it succeeds at involving half of society – in other words, women – will it achieve its full potential, especially when it comes to development and sustainability.
“This means changing people’s minds first, and letting this shift in mindset influence policy, investment, and business behaviour.”
Four basic aims
The network, which will complement the work of the existing UNCTAD-led initiative eTrade for all to unlock the potential of e-commerce in developing countries, was announced by UNCTAD deputy secretary general Isabelle Durant
“A systematic effort to collect, nurture and enhance the experiences of women involved in e-commerce is needed,” she said. Raising the profile of successful women leaders in e-commerce and the digital economy was an important first step to maximizing new opportunities for women in developing countries.
Ms. Durant said UNCTAD would leverage its existing relationships with partners involved in the eTrade for all initiative to champion the network.
“I would also like to acknowledge the support we have received from our donors, and the government of the Netherlands, in shaping, building and developing this new network,” she said. “Without the support of pioneers, we could not be at the forefront of women's empowerment, as we strive to do.”
There are four reasons why UNCTAD established the eTrade for Women Network, Ms. Durant said:
- Visibility: to increase the visibility of successful women entrepreneurs in e-commerce in developing countries.
- Largesse: to provide them with a relevant network of peers.
- Inspiration: to inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs and e-business leaders in developing countries.
- Learning: to highlight good practices emerging from the field that are likely to add value to existing gender initiatives.
The network will also provide women involved in e-commerce in developing countries with opportunities to make their voices heard in policy processes both domestically and internationally.
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