WISE, a DAI Global company, will be joining a working session at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Public Forum on 2nd October 2018 in Geneva. The working session, titled “The left behind in sustainability practices: Children and women”, is organised by Save the Children and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD). Sally Smith, a gender and sustainable development expert, will represent WISE at this event.

The working session will discuss concrete examples of solutions from company leaders and experts from around the world on how integrating children’s and women’s rights can build up brand reputation, improve risk management, and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The session will address impact of global changes, such as rising South-South trade and technology disruptions, on sustainability frameworks for business impact on women and children. Read more about the session here.

WISE will present key findings and recommendations that have emerged from an issue paper, “Voluntary sustainability standards and gender equality in global value chains”, that was commissioned by ICTSD. The paper is part of the project, “New Thinking on Trade and Gender”, which aims to enhance a mutually supportive relationship between international trade policy and gender equality (SDG5) and their contribution to inclusive economic transformation in developing countries.

In this paper, WISE explores critical policy research questions around the gender sensitiveness of existing standards and: their implementation; their current and potential role in promoting gender-inclusive opportunities in Global Value Chains; whether they can be effective in supporting SDG5; and women’s participation in the standards’ processes and implementation. The paper also provides examples of practice in standards driven by international organisations, firms, and/or nongovernmental groups, and provide practical recommendations on how to promote gender integration within voluntary sustainability standards design, implementation, monitoring and regulatory processes; as well as recommendations for policymakers, for stakeholder cooperation, and for further research.

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